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Anza Park looks for fresh start after safety struggles

Anza Park
Posted at 9:14 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 01:14:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "It was one of the worst public parks in the city," Jen Hider, a Tucson Police Department Community Service Officer, said about Anza Park.

"It just was a combination of drug use, drug dealing, homelessness, covid, everything all kind of happening at once," Hider said.

Today, the park remains largely empty. TPD was able to clean up the area by finding the primary drug dealer. This also helped some of those who were homeless.

"There were some predators that were preying on these homeless people and these homeless people are very vulnerable," Jack Julsing, the supervisor on the TPD Homeless Outreach Team, said.

Now, new infrastructure is on the way to give the park a fresh start. Construction for a new dog park is underway and more projects are on the way.

"It's kind of like when you bite an apple, you do it one piece at a time," Lara Hamwey, Director of Tucson's Parks and Recreation Department, said.

There are plans for new bathrooms, fitness courts, and walkways.