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PHOENIX -- The Phoenix police are asking for your help -- at the ballot box.

"Public safety starts with officer safety. This is a community safety initiative. This is an officer safety initiative," Joe Clure, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA). "We're asking all citizens of Phoenix to support this measure. We're asking them to help us protect you."

The hiring freeze has resulted in 540 fewer officers on the streets now than in 2009, he said.

"All areas of the police department are strained by the impact of the critically low officer staffing issues," he said.

The initiative would amend a Phoenix city charter by providing for a minimum number of law enforcement hours and limiting cuts to police officers' pay.

The initiative still needs to gather some 25,000 signatures before it goes to the ballot box.

Corbin Carson,

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