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The Tucson City Council will get a first look at a proposed Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget, with a huge surplus.

Tucson's $158 million "fund balance" creates opportunities for the City Council to spend on transportation and public safety priorities. Plus, more in our quick look at what's planned for local government meetings this week. Read more»

Police move in to clear out barricaded streets around memorials set up for Winston Smith and Deona Marie. Winston Smith was killed by law enforcement on June 3, 2021, and Deona Marie was killed when a man drove his vehicle through barricades into protesters on June 13, 2021.

Since George Floyd’s murder in 2020, federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have proposed meaningful federal police reform, but proposed legislation has fallen victim to political polarization, concerns over rising crime, and disagreement over how to address qualified immunity. Read more»

Legislation which would make it illegal to film police officers within eight feet of them is closer to becoming Arizona law, despite concerns that it could hinder efforts to document misconduct. Read more»

US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the State of the Union address as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022.

President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night to reassert America as a leading global voice for democracy and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for starting an “unprovoked” war in Ukraine. Read more»

An unidentified Tempe police officer discharges pepper spray at protesters who were following his orders to back up. The incident took place at a 'Chalk Walk' protest outside Tempe Marketplace on June 27, 2020.

A bill proposed by Fountain Hills Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, who spent decades as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, would make it unlawful for someone to film police from up to 15 feet away while officers are engaged in “law enforcement activity.” Read more»

A sign at a protest against police brutality against Black people in Tempe, Ariz. on June 11, 2020.

Leaders of faith organizations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities told a U.S. House panel how their institutions have been roiled by violence - while subcommittee Republicans said the focus should be on crime rates and threats made to law enforcement officers. Read more»

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, called the bipartisan VICTIMS Act a 'step in the right direction' toward addressing rising rates of violent crime in the state and nation.

Lawmakers called for action on a bipartisan bill that would allocate $100 million a year for the next decade to support police agencies and increase assistance to victims and their families to address rising violent crime rates in Arizona. Read more»

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to increase funding by $500 million to local police departments and community programs that tackle gun violence.

With a rise in homicides in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, local leaders and gun safety experts are renewing their efforts to strike a balance between relying on law enforcement and engaging others, such as social workers, to reduce violence in at-risk communities. Read more»

Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, speaks in front of a group of law enforcement about House Bill 2650, which would create a division in the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate use-of-force incidents involving police.

A bipartisan measure to create a new division inside the Arizona Department of Public Safety that would investigate use-of-force incidents and criminal misconduct by police officers won unanimous support in a legislative committee Monday afternoon. Read more»

Army  Capt. Jason Webb, right,  and Army Capt. Corrine Brown, left, critical care nurses with the 627th Hospital Center, prepare to move a COVID-19 positive patient. The National Guard has be called in to help with hospital staffing shortages in many states. Retirements of frontline workers such as nurses have added to shortages around the country.

As a shortage of frontline workers has vexed states and cities throughout the pandemic, workers who have a lot of contact with the public—such as police officers, nurses, school bus drivers and retail store workers—retired and left the workforce in high numbers last year. Read more»

The state of Oklahoma sent a blizzard of appeals to the Supreme Court, urging it to reverse a 2020 decision that restricted the state’s ability to try Native Americans in state courts in much of the state. The court last week agreed to consider refining its ruling – but rejected calls to reverse it.

The Supreme Court will revisit – but not overturn – its landmark 2020 decision that said a large part of eastern Oklahoma is still legally Muscogee (Creek) reservation land, a ruling that state officials claim has upended trial courts there. Read more»

Sen. John Kavanagh, who spent decades as a police officer, is reviving a measure that would heavily redact any body-worn camera footage released to the public, including requiring nearly all faces be blurred - though Arizona already has privacy exemptions to the public record law. Read more»

Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd. The unarmed man died after begging Chauvin to let him up because he could not breathe.

Videos like those that captured police killing George Floyd and Eric Garner would be illegal in Arizona under a new law proposed by Fountain Hills Republican Rep. John Kavanagh - a bill similar to one proposed by the retired police officer in 2016. Read more»

While most Americans believe arrested people go to court soon after their arrest, Constitutional guarantees of a “fair and speedy trial” are infrequently honored in our under-resourced criminal justice system. Read more»

Despite the year-over-year increase, the figures show that the number of officer fatalities has been significantly declining over the past decades.

COVID-19 was the leading cause of law enforcement deaths in 2021, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, with some 301 deaths directly attributable to the pandemic as of December 31, 2021, and a final number that was likely to be higher. Read more»

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