TUCSON - Based on several incidents at Santa Rita Park and after several meetings with the Neighborhood Associations, Tucson Police and the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, a new effort for enforcement and assistance was launched at Santa Rita Park.
Under the direction of Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, Assistant Chief Ramon Batista, and Operations Division West Captain Eric Kazmierczak, increased walking patrols, bicycle patrols and additional car patrols will be in the Santa Rita Park area.
“Tucson Police has quickly reacted to deal with a situation that has concerned the surrounding neighborhoods,” Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres said.
Lt. Thomas Hawke and Lt. Jennifer Turner have been assigned to oversee the Park effort and coordinate with the surrounding neighborhoods, doing updates and deal with future incidents..
Tucson Police is coordinating with service agencies, Primavera, La Frontera and Old Pueblo Community Services to have intake coordinators to go out to Santa Rita Park to reach out to those who may need help.
“This effort is a part of the Community Policing approach, and I want to thank our Police Chief, Chris Magnus, for bringing back this approach and for this to be used in Santa Rita Park,” Councilmember Fimbres said. “The work to make the park and neighborhood safer is ongoing and those who need help are getting it.”
Tucson Parks and Recreation had kept the lights on in Santa Rita Park for a longer period of time. They are also looking at the feasibility of offering classes from the recreation program in Santa Rita Park.
Tucson Fire’s new TC3 program which helps those who need services get those programs, are also a part of the ongoing effort in Santa Rita Park.
“It is great that Old Pueblo Community Services, La Frontera and Primavera are a part of the plan for Santa Rita Park,” Fimbres added. “There are people who are homeless, who need help and there are agencies who are working with us to get these people they assistance they need. Remember, homelessness is not a crime.”