Phoenix is safer now than it has been in the past 25 years, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon told hundreds of people who showed up today for his State of City speech.
Even so, he said his top priority for 2011 -- his final year as mayor -- is to get more more cops on the streets "initially through our police reserve program."
While reserve officers are volunteers, they are trained and become "full-authority sworn police officers," according to the Phoenix police website.
Gordon, pictured on the left posing with cops after his speech, lamented that Phoenix has cut 300 police officer positions in the past three years, hasn't hired any cops since January 2009, and isn't expected to hire again until 2014.
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"We need to reverse that trend by working with our city management team," Gordon said.
He also told the crowd that he is starting a scholarship fund for undocumented students who want to go to college.
"We can't wait for Congress to get around to passing the DREAM Act," he said, adding that "we must step in where they refuse to act."
Gordon has started raising money for the fund, and he pledged to donate the first $10,000. He said that he is still working on details, such as how students will be selected and whether to join forces with a nonprofit.