TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s a project that’s been months in the making and is now coming to fruition. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is changing jurisdictional boundaries to better response time.
For starters, Sheriff Chris Nanos says this change is the step in the right direction to not only lighten the load on deputies, but also get the community the help they need.
“This needed to be done, and this is just the first thing to be done,” he told KGUN9.
He says redistricting hasn’t been done in 50 years and it’s time deputies are shifted to certain areas to decrease response time.
“Look at Green Valley or Tucson Mountain. 7,000 calls a year. They have stations. Response times are quick. Vail has no substation. Response times from the Catalina, Tanque Verde area to Vail...probably 20-30 mile distance. Response times are rather slow,” Sheriff Nanos said.
Districts exist to assign coverage to deputies in various areas. Sheriff Nanos says Vail now has a substation that didn’t exist before, actively servicing about 20 hours a day.
“And that’s going to be staffed from officers from other areas,” he added.
He says redistricting increases efficiency, something that is crucial now because of lack of staffing.
“We’re down 10% from four years ago. Crime hasn’t reduced to 10%. Calls for services haven’t reduced to 10%-- our staffing has. So that’s one of the reasons why this was the first, and probably the easiest step to take. Let’s get our workforce where they are demanded and needed the most,” said the Sheriff.
This is what he hopes to do next:
“My next job will be to take the San Xavier district substation, which services the Three Points area and move it closer, more central to that area. There’s 60 deputies there,” he told KGUN9.
He says that by putting them closer and more central to the district, response times will be quicker, police presence will be larger, and community interaction will be higher.