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Maricopa County Begins Jail Wagon Pilot Program

Driving throughout the Phoenix metro area, it is not uncommon to see police officers from various law enforcement agencies on the job. Whether it is a DUI stop or conducting an investigation into suspicious criminal activity, police are very active in the region.

However, when police arrest someone for a DUI, drug crime or other criminal activity, the arresting officer will be required to take the individual to a jail or other type of processing facility after completing the necessary paperwork.

All of this removes officers from the streets, and can take a significant amount of time to complete. When law enforcement is transporting individuals to jails, this means that they cannot be looking for other people who may be breaking the law or jeopardizing the safety of others.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has recently implemented a new pilot program that is designed to help increase the amount of time officers are able to spend on patrol. Once an arrest is made, a "roaming jail wagon" will proceed to the crime scene. There, the officers will hand the offender over to those in charge of the wagon. The offenders will then be transported to the nearest facilities for booking.

If successful, the program may lead to an increase in DUI arrests and other crimes. Officers on the streets may have more of an opportunity to make additional arrests. Officials expect that the program may lead to an additional 2,000 hours of patrol time. The program may be expanded throughout the county if it works as designed.

Source: AZFamily.com "'Roaming jail wagons' to free up deputies for patrols" Catherine Holland, July 9, 2012.

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