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Fri, Nov. 22

Tusayan law enforcement services cut under budget constraints
Expenditure limitation may result in longer call times, no resident deputy

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — As a result of the Tusayan’s vote against home rule earlier this spring, the town will see a reduction of law enforcement services provided by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department.

The Town Council discussed the contract at its regular meeting Oct. 9. The new contract is scheduled to last for one year and can be revisited if or when the town’s financial situation changes.

Prior to operating under Arizona’s alternative expenditure limitation, which sets the amount Tusayan can spend in a given year, the town was paying Coconino County about $493,000 in 2019 for law enforcement services. The town had also just recently had a resident deputy assigned to the community. Because of limited funds, the sheriff’s office agreed to renegotiate the contract to about $250,000.

The new contract, however, comes with a reduction in services rendered.

The sheriff’s office will no longer provide a resident deputy to patrol the town’s municipal boundaries and will no longer lease housing space at Grand Canyon Airport. Proactive patrol and community policing activities will no longer be provided and deputies will no longer respond to private property accidents or disputes. Deputies will also no longer respond to any calls for assistance that are not classified as priority calls. Call response time may also be delayed if higher-priority situations arise.

The agreement stipulates, however, that calls from Tusayan will be included in determining all call priorities.

Tusayan Mayor Craig Sanderson said the new changes are not very different than what the town dealt with in the past and said he does not expect any negative impacts.

“The main difference is now we’ll be treated like other non-incorporated areas in the county, like Valle,” he said. “We’ll no longer have proactive services like business checks. Law enforcement will be more reactive.”

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