City of Phoenix: Introducing the PHX Blue Crew

June 6, 2021 5:00 p.m.

The PHX Blue Crew is a group of current, retired, sworn and civilian employees of the Phoenix Police who volunteer in our community.

“It allows our people to connect with each other,” said Reserve Sgt. Tommy Thompson said of the PHX Blue crew. “It allows our people to connect with the community. And when you serve others, there is nothing better. That is what the Blue Crew is about.”

The PHX Blue Crew regularly volunteers at events such as Habitat for Humanity, St. Mary’s Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul.

“Today we’re helping Habitat for Humanity build a house for a well-deserved couple in the community,” said Hilary Werner, a forensic scientist at the Phoenix Police Department’s Crime Lab.

During the working week, Werner compares latent prints from crime scenes. On her weekend, she compares blueprints for a home soon.

“I think it builds a sense of trust in the community,” said Werner of the PHX Blue Crew. “It brings members of the Phoenix Police Department, whether sworn or civil, into the community to show them that we really stand behind them and that we are for them.”

Outside on the Habitat for Humanity construction site, there are crime lab scientists like Werner, as well as officers and 911 dispatchers. Andrea Favela is a communications operator at Phoenix. She takes calls from people every day, often in the worst moments of her life. She said the voice on the other end of the call gets a face when you go to events like this on the weekend.

“I think it helps them realize that we’re not just on the phone and just not the people we’re talking to when they’re super stressed and not really in a good mood,” Favela said of 911. “You can see that ‘oh, that’s the lady I could have talked to on the phone. Oh, it’s a real person, not a robot.'”

Although the PHX Blue Crew officially launched this year, community service is nothing new to Phoenix Police employees. Reserve Sgt. Thompson said this program cuts right into the heart of the department.

“It is our police family that reaches out to our community partners to make a difference in our community,” said Sgt. Thompson said. “That’s what it’s all about. This is the Blue Crew.”

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