Maricopa County to test inmate transport program - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Maricopa County to test inmate transport program

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Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 10:59 am

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has launched a pilot program designed to reduce the time deputies spend transporting inmates.

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/RAnOp6) that the test program will use detention officers instead of deputies to transport inmates to jail, a move that could free up as many as 2,000 hours for deputies each month. The program is aimed at preventing deputies from transporting inmates to far-flung locations in the 9,200-square-mile county to the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix.

But it will likely not alleviate a long-standing criticism police chiefs have leveled against Sheriff Joe Arpaio: his decision to close so-called satellite booking facilities in November 2007.

That decision left police agencies scrambling to devise plans to transport inmates to downtown Phoenix without taking police officers off the streets.

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