DOWNTOWN POLICE PATROLS TO EXPAND
The Arizona Republic
September 29, 2006
NEW RESIDENTS, NIGHTCLUB CROWDS CREATE NEED FOR GREATER PRESENCE
Author: Michael Ferraresi, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 4
As Scottsdale grows and changes, so do police patrols assigned to the city's
More than 30,000 visitors already flock to the downtown entertainment hub on
weekend nights, and as many as 8,000 people could move into high-rise condos in
that same area in the next couple of years, according to Scottsdale Police
To keep pace with the boom, Scottsdale's fledgling downtown patrol district is
expected to grow from eight officers to 13 in the next year or so -- and that is
just the beginning.
Cmdr. Scott Popp, who took charge of south Scottsdale's District 1 patrols in
August, said he and other officials are considering changing officers'
beat maps to prevent downtown officers from overlapping on calls with others who
could be focusing on proactive "community policing" in other neighborhoods south
of Chaparral Road.
"We're thinking of the possibilities, if that enables us to respond to calls
faster or not," Popp said.
District 1 is the busiest of three patrol districts. The area is composed of
nearly every neighborhood south of Chaparral, though it includes heavy
commercial areas in Old Town, future Waterfront condos and SkySong, the ASU
Scottsdale Innovation Center.
Popp replaced Scottsdale police Deputy Chief Sean Duggan as commander for
District 1. Duggan was credited with making inroads with residents in
neighborhoods targeted for revitalization, including some Spanish-speaking
communities where police have worked with residents to curb crime.
More District 1 officers will likely be added in the 2007-08 budget. About
65 of Scottsdale's 405-member force are already assigned to the city's most
Chief Alan Rodbell has been clear about his goals to hire more officers through
Scottsdale's public safety sales tax increase, approved in 2004.
More than 60 new officers have been hired and are being phased into service.
Popp said he is working to bring resources to the popular Paiute Community
Center in south Scottsdale, such as Spanish-speaking social services. The
services could be used by the Minnezona community, just east of Scottsdale
The new commander said he wants District 1 officers to work closer with
residents to get information about criminal activity, and to limit neighborhood
blight in areas targeted for revitalization. More than 165 Block Watch captains
already work with south Scottsdale officers, Popp said.
Getting people to buy into the community-policing philosophy is difficult, he
said, though many residents have complained about issues such as men drinking in
public and leaving beer bottles on the streets where children play.
"With the guys drinking in public, we can write tickets all day, but we're
trying to go beyond that," Popp said.
As for the downtown area, Popp said Scottsdale police may add more eyes to the
nightclub scene after last call. He is considering putting officers on
street-sweepers assigned to the graveyard shifts in those areas.
Another idea is to staff more police paddy wagons near the nightclubs and bars
so officers who make arrests of drunk or belligerent revelers can simply drop
the suspects off and get back on patrol quickly, while another officer processes
the suspects on-scene.
Not everyone agrees that south Scottsdale officers are being as proactive as
possible in working to curb crime. For instance, the 478 burglaries from
vehicles in the area through June accounted for about 45 percent of Scottsdale's
total burglaries from vehicles, according to 2006 police statistics.
"Neighborhood Watch will call cops, and they're not always satisfied by the
response, when residents do not feel safe," said Lisa Haskell, a community
activist who oversees a small homeowners association near Oak and 71st streets.
"They feel like south Scottsdale is being ignored and that they don't see the
police manpower down here."
Name: Cmdr. Scott Popp.
Years on the force: 16.
Current duties: In August, Popp took over control of Scottsdale's police
patrol District 1, south of Chaparral Road, which currently includes
separate patrols in the business/entertainment hub of Old Town.
Previous job: Lieutenant in charge of persons crimes. Before that, as a
lieutenant, he oversaw bike units, mounted units, K-9 teams, and the High
Enforcement Arrest Team.
Education: Master's in educational leadership from Northern Arizona
University, B.S. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is working on a
second master's degree in human relations/counseling.
Contact: District 1 headquarters, 3700 N. 75th St., (480) 312-2716. The main
number for Scottsdale police is (480) 312-5000.
CAPTION: 1. Officers Brian Amrine (from left), J. Kibsey and J. Stumpf
inspect a car, which later was reported stolen, that was pulled over for an
illegal left turn. The south Scottsdale patrol commander wants officers to
be more proactive. CAPTION: 2. Officer Brian Amrine responds to a 911
hang-up call in south Scottsdale. He says he peeks through a window when
there is a delay in answering the door. CAPTION: 3. Cmdr. Scott Popp
Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Scottsdale Republic North
Index Terms: CRIME
Copyright (c) The Arizona Republic. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the
permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: pho152033568