PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Will Wright has been a Phoenix park ranger for 14 years, so he's seen his share of shady behavior.

Drinking. Drugs. Vandalism. And the list goes on.

"Townsend Park - one of the residents lives across from Safeway, and on her way home she had a homeless individual that had words with her, and had to call the cops because he was chasing her with a broom handle," said Wright.

"Yeah, there's definitely those concerns," said college student Desirae Torres. "As a woman coming out here alone and feeling unsafe sometimes, I guess you could say it does not matter what time of day it is."

Back in 2008, during the recession, Phoenix cut back on the number of rangers patrolling the city's 185 parks.

And that led to an increase in complaints in some communities.

Now, the city is looking to put more park rangers back on patrol.

Phoenix mom Dalia Aquino is all for it.

"I think its awesome," said Aquino. "Definitely more peace of mind."

The Phoenix city manager recently released a trial budget that includes funding for 8 new park rangers.

The new rangers would patrol the city's flat land parks, with priority given to areas seeing an increase in crime.

"I think it would add a layer of comfort and security, just having them come here," said park visitor Katie Sinclair. 

The City of Phoenix is hosting a half dozen community budget hearings this month, where residents can learn more about the latest budget proposal and express their opinion on issues like increasing the number of park rangers.

Here are the times and dates for the upcoming community hearings.

Monday, April 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m., District 8 Neighborhood Resource Center Large Conference Room, 2405 E. Broadway Road.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Districts 1/2 Goelet A. C. Beuf Community Center Multipurpose Room, 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Road.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Citywide Youth Metro Tech High School Banquet Hall, 1900 W. Thomas Road.

Thursday, April 18, 2019, 8:00 a.m., District 3 Shadow Mountain Senior Center, 3546 E. Sweetwater Avenue.

Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Districts 4/7 Encanto Park Clubhouse Ballroom, 2605 N. 15th Avenue.

Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6:00 p.m., District 8 Matthew Henson HOPE VI,,1150 S. 7th Avenue.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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