Phoenix City Council considers vote for overnight private security for select parks

The private security guards would start their shift at 8 p.m. at select parks and finish at 10 a.m.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:40 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:54 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix City Council is considering a plan to hire private overnight security guards for eight parks with the highest number of park ranger visits, code of conduct violations and trespass notices issued.

“When you don’t have nowhere to go, you do the best you can do and this has been the best I can do more times than not,” said Corey, who sometimes lives at Washington Park, one of the eight parks on the list. The complete list of parks includes: Cortez, Washington, Pierce, Cielito, El Oso, Perry, Desert West and Maryvale.

On Oct. 12, Phoenix City Council moved the item to the Nov. 2 meeting for a possible vote. The private security guards would start at 8 p.m. at those parks and finish at 10 a.m. It would cost $400,000 annually to help out the short-staffed park rangers department. Guards would be responsible for clearing the park once it closes, contacting city services for those who need it, and calling police if they see a crime. “I think its a great idea, in addition to the dog park it would allow people to use other places of the park much more comfortably,” said parkgoers Mary Connell and Jeremy Mussman.

“Lets be honest. It’s about drugs, homeless people, you can say trespassing,” said Corey. “Nobody is not noticing it.” If the plan passes, people like Corey would need to find another place to sleep. “If they did their job, then we wouldn’t be here,” said Corey.