There's a new call to close Tent City in Phoenix (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
County Supervisor Steve Gallardo believes Tent City isn't saving taxpayers money (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo is calling for the closure of Tent City Jail, citing a dramatic drop in the number of inmates housed the county jail system.
"Is it cost effective? That's the question," said Gallardo, who represents the southwest part of the county.
According to the executive summary of the county's 2017 proposed budget, the jail system had a population of 130,000 as recently as 2009. In 2016, the total population is projected to be 103,000.
"I think when you start looking at hard core numbers when you look at personnel, security, the best thing we can do is move these inmates into a brick and mortar facility and let's save taxpayers money," said Gallardo.
A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office declined to comment for this story. But Arpaio's former adviser and author of his biography, "Joe's Law," said he doesn't believe the sheriff will ever support closing Tent City.
"He has said under no circumstances will he ever close MASH or the tents, as long as he views it as politically advantageous," said Len Sherman.
You can see our entire interview with Sherman here.