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Updated Jul 16, 2012 - 7:01 am

Mesa police go after jaywalkers

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police are on the lookout for people who don't use the crosswalk.

Five pedestrians have been killed in accidents this year -- four of them were jaywalking. Police are taking action.

"Our officers that are out there, specifically our traffic officers, have a directive that if they see individuals crossing against the lights or riding bicycles inappropriately, they stop and make contact with those folks," said police Detective Steve Barry.

One area they are watching is near the light-rail station at Main and Sycamore streets.

"We haven't had any specific pedestrian-related accidents in that area, but it's an area where there's a lot of activity, so we have focused a lot of attention to that area," said Barry.

He said that officers have a message for people that they stop near the light rail.

"Catching that train, as opposed to waiting for the next one, or catching that bus as opposed to the next one and running out into the roadway is just not safe," Barry said.

"You can catch the next as opposed to getting hit by a car."

Police haven't given out tickets yet, but Barry said that's up to the officer's discretion. Mesa is trying to avoid a repeat of 2008, when eight pedestrians died in accidents.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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