UAPD, TPD join forces for patrols near the campus

By Joseph M. Molina
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 7, 1996

The University of Arizona and Tucson police departments began a joint community-based foot patrol Friday in the areas where both departments' jurisdictions meet.

Harry R. Hueston, UAPD deputy chief, said this is a pilot program that will last until Dec. 22, when it will be evaluated to see if it will be continued.

Douglas F. Smith, TPD police chief, said the officers will patrol on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.

There are two areas that each of the set of officers will patrol. The first area is from North Park Avenue to North Campbell Avenue and East Elm Street to East First Street. The second is from East Sixth Street to East Speedway Boulevard and North Mountain Avenue to North Euclid Avenue.

There will be one officer from each department in each area of the foot patrol.

Patrol times were determined by both departments on when they received the most calls for assistance, Hueston said.

"With the officers on the foot patrol, we will not have to respond for a call, they will already be there," he said.

The improved service to UA area merchants and residents is the reason for the foot patrol, Hueston said. He said both departments support the idea.

Hueston said the program is being funded through existing funds.

UAPD Officers Jeremy Sheridan and Jason Dehmer volunteered for the foot patrol assignment, Hueston said.

He said both officers love the idea and are eager to start.

Smith said Officers Paul Sayre and Steve Popkoff have the foot patrol assignment for TPD.

"Both officers are very energetic and excited," Smith said.

On the first weekend, the team of Sheridan and Sayre made between five to seven arrests, Sheridan estimated. He said those included assault, disorderly conduct and alcohol violations.

"The first night went really well and we made some good contacts," Sheridan said.

He said working with Sayre went well and that they shared similar philosophies and ideas.

TPD Sgt. Eugene Mejia said the foot patrol officers had a routine night. He said some of the situations that they dealt with were drinking in public and loud music.

But he said the goal of the foot patrol is communication, not to make more arrests.

"Even if we make no arrests, we are still accomplishing our goal," Mejia said.

"It is for crime order maintenance and to build better relations between the public and the police," Smith said.

Smith said in a press conference Friday that with the foot patrol, TPD hopes to eliminate frustration between area citizens and students with police.

"We hope that homeowners and businesses feel more secure," Smith said.

Elected officials and the public are in favor of the patrol, he said.

Students on campus are also showing support for the program.

"It's a good idea because it can help stop vandalism and they can keep an eye on people coming out of bars," said Russel James, undeclared freshman.

Michelle Vogel, political science senior, said, "It is a good idea for those that walk late at night because some areas on campus are poorly lit."