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Tucson Police, Parks and Rec partner for new Park Safety Program

Posted at 4:39 AM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 12:05:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A new partnership between the City of Tucson's Parks and Recreation Department and Tucson Police has established the new Park Safety Program.

The program employs 10 community service officers within TPD.

The officers are in charge of visiting as many city parks as possible and making sure everyone is following the rules.

"It's a partnership we have to really try to find a way to make our parks more appealing to our public, to our community members and really just provide that feeling of safety and security," said Tim Reese, a Lieutenant with the Tucson Police Department.

The CSO's a part of the program are put through various trainings to make sure they are ready for the job. They learn everything from how to administer NARCAN to how to spot someone in crisis.

"The most emotionally demanding thing is when you're dealing with folks in crisis because they're dealing with varying levels of trauma in their life, they're maybe homeless maybe not and they're having an episode," said John Ottinger, a CSO with the program.

The Park Safety Program began on May 5 and is currently in its pilot stage.

CSO's working the program say the feedback they've gotten back from community members has been overwhelmingly positive.