ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Hobbs allocates $3.2M to Pinal County to combat border-related crimes

Aug 8, 2023, 9:18 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday announced $3.2 million in funding is heading to Pinal County to combat border-related crimes.

The funding will be dispersed between the Queen Creek, Casa Grande, Eloy, Florence and Coolidge police departments.

Hobbs said the funds would be used to combat human trafficking, update technology, increase personnel and purchase SUVs to facilitate easier on-the-ground travel.

The governor met with Sheriff Mark Lamb, Rep. Keith Seaman and local law enforcement police chiefs in Casa Grande to talk about the unique challenges Pinal County faces as it deals with residual effects from the border.

“What we talked about reflects much of what I have heard around the state — that our rural communities are being strained and are frequently expected to perform tasks without being provided the necessary tools,” Hobbs said.

How do the police departments plan to use the funding?

Joining Hobbs at the event was Florence Police Chief Bruce Walls, who said that the resources provided to his town will enhance safety to the community and to officers.

“It is crucial that our first responders can communicate effectively while fighting crimes associated with our borders,” Walls said.

“Whether it’s sex trafficking, illegal drugs that are killing our kids, or people entering our state without going through the proper channels, the town of Florence will now have the ability to address those concerns without the fear of losing communications with our home base,” Walls said.

Also in attendance was Queen Creek Police Department Chief Randy Brice, whose department has been operating for 18 months. He said previous funding has already helped the department directly combat human trafficking in the town.

“In addition to the training, enforcement and enhancements, the funding will be used to purchase modern equipment, technology and provide necessary resources to allow our officers to stay safe and keep updated with each other in the field,” Brice said.

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs allocates $3.2M to Pinal County to combat border-related crimes