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Policing policies are changing in Tempe alongside city, university expansion

PHOENIX — As downtown Tempe grows and Arizona State University continues to expand, the city and school police departments are working together to develop future policing policies.

“In the next couple years, Tempe is going to look like a completely different city,” Tempe Police Lieutenant Mike Pooley said.

According to Pooley, the methods police will use to patrol the city of Tempe will be very different compared to the methods used now. He said the two police departments have concerns they are working to address.

“The (emergency) response time, the traffic congestion, everything that you are thinking about is what we have on the plate that we are trying to prepare for,” Pooley said.

Another concern for both departments is the future plans to develop more high rises in the city.

“We are working with the management companies of these high rises,” he said. “(We are)seeing how the access points are going to be after hours, trying to find out what are the routes we can get into there.”

Department heads have been meeting on a regular basis to figure out whose jurisdiction is whose as the university expands past the main campus corridor.

“Meetings trying to figure out how we are going to do it, how we are going to respond, who is going to be responsible for it, that way we are not caught off guard,” he said. “We have been working very closely with ASU Police Department as well as with ASU and the city trying to figure out what resources are going to be available and who is taking what jurisdiction.”

Pooley said he hopes all of the departments involved in the planning process will be able to finalize some of the city’s new policing plans in the New Year.