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Tempe police officers to carry water rescue bags after drowning

By Bridget Dowd, Kathy Ritchie
Published: Monday, August 22, 2022 - 5:05am
Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 12:26pm

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Tempe Town Lake
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Tempe Town Lake.

After three police officers stood by as a man drowned in Tempe Town Lake last May, city officials announced that all Tempe police officers will now carry water rescue bags. 

According to a city of Tempe press release, the new measures include installing rescue rings connected to 100-foot ropes around Tempe Town Lake and Kiwanis Lake. Officers will also be issued a water rescue "throw bag."

An uproar arose after Tempe police released edited footage from officers' body cameras and a transcript of the May 28 incident in which Sean Bickings climbed over a fence along the lake. He eventually went into the water and drowned.

Tempe’s city manager said, “Tragic events can prompt genuine reflection.”

To learn about the new equipment, The Show spoke with Tempe Police Chief Jeffrey Glover.

Jeff Glover
Tempe Police Department
Jeff Glover

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