Tempe Parks to Get Private Security Services

Tempe Parks to Get Private Security Services

Tempe City Council unanimously approved hiring a security services company to make city parks safer.

Armed security guards will soon patrol the parks of Tempe, Arizona after the City Council unanimously voted to hire a security services company following residents' concerns about safety. 

The Tempe City Council approved spending $25,000 to hire G4S, a global security services company. While reported crime at city parks are low, there are issues with criminal damage, drug use and disorderly conduct. Another common issue is people walking their dogs without leashes. 

"If you look at the citizen community survey, one of the concerns some have expressed is the overall safety in parks," Tempe police Cmdr. Mike Horn told AZ Central. "People are fed up."

The new guards will carry firearms, stun guns and pepper spray and will help to decrease crime, according to Horn. Guards will be deployed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (although that schedule is likely to change) and will patrol in up to 10 parks. 

 Guards receive 40 hours of training that includes de-escalation and use-of-force procedures. Armed guards received additional training in firearms, stun guns and pepper spray use. 

The guards will go through a two-day training to familiarize themselves with the pay environment and city ordinances, Horn said. They will also be trained by La Frontera Center, a mental health facility in Tucson, on how to work with the city's homeless population and recognize mental health issues. 

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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