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Phoenix park rangers to begin overnight patrols in September

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, June 9, 2023 - 10:32am

Phoenix playground park sign
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Phoenix has more than 180 parks.

Phoenix has received more than 100 applications for 14 new park ranger positions to patrol city parks overnight. 

The City Council approved the positions after gathering data from a pilot program using a private security company. Over three months, unarmed security guards encountered nearly 700 people after parks had closed, many using drugs. At least three times, they called 911 after finding people unresponsive. 

Councilwoman Betty Guardado, who chairs the community and cultural investment subcommittee, said, “There’s a lot of us on this subcommittee and on the council that are very concerned, everything that is happening in our parks and we just want to make sure that our families can continue to enjoy the parks, continue to take their kids into the parks.”

Phoenix Parks Director Cynthia Aguilar told the subcommittee about the expedited hiring process.

“We were able to get a quick recruitment out, we were able to get a lot of marketing of these positions using different methods, with HR’s help, and then that singular day hiring event that was held last week on June 1, really allowed us to get everybody in the doors," said Aguilar.

New hires will go through ranger academy and field training before being on their own in September. Phoenix has 186 flatland parks.  

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