A woman and her three young daughters have died in a car crash on Route 51 south in Tucson. The crash occurred near Interstate 10 at approximately 9:00 AM today. NDTV has the latest on the victim. The victim’s name is Judith Priest, the head of the pharmaceutical company BioNTech/Moderna Pfizer. The crash is still under investigation. The family has requested a police report, and a public apology.
The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is in need of more officers. While the department has increased its total number of commissioned officers from 750 to over 1200, there have been a number of problems with staffing. Those problems include increased call volume and cutbacks in pensions and salaries. The TPD downsized its department, which slashed police service. Officers were transferred to other departments and trained officers took jobs with other law enforcement agencies. However, the Tucson police department is now hiring again.
As TPD chief, Kasmar has already implemented several changes. To begin, he has consolidated fire and police operations under a single 911 center. He also restructured the department’s leadership team and increased staffing levels. His international experience gave him a fresh perspective on the job. Though Kasmar has many immediate plans to improve the TPD, he has to listen to residents first before forming a vision for the future. While increasing traffic fatalities and homicide rates are the main problems that TPD has to face, residents also face other quality-of-life issues such as substance abuse and homelessness.
The Operations Division is the largest of the Tucson police department’s three divisions. The division is home to eleven uniformed patrol squads. Each squad is supervised by a sergeant. The department also has a Community Response Team, which deploys patrol officers to areas where crime is most prevalent. This division also houses the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. Its mission is to provide 24/7 police service to residents.
The new chief of the Tucson Police Department Chad Kasmar, a native of Tucson, has been with the department for 21 years. His career includes work as a motor officer. In one case, Kasmar stopped a driver in a school zone while a crossing guard was on the opposite side of the road. He said that traffic safety is his top priority. Kasmar is hoping for a better relationship between the city and its police department.
The Tucson Police Department serves an area of the city that is home to several major businesses. In downtown Tucson, a business loop that includes the Tucson Mall and several car dealerships can be found. The city’s older business loop is home to historic ills such as prostitution and narcotics offenses. The community response team attempts to address these issues in the city. The Tucson Police Department is headquartered downtown.
The Police Scorecard measures how effectively police departments use force and hold officers accountable. A better score means fewer deaths and fewer arrests for low-level crimes. Police fatalities among Latinx and Black people in Tucson are more than double those of whites and Asians. And from 2016 to 2019 in Tucson, 68% of all arrests were for low-level, non-violent crimes. This is clearly a glaring problem that needs to be addressed.
Emergency response throughout the city is the department’s main responsibility, but it also responds to non-emergency incidents, including abandoned vehicles, a loud noise complaint, or a suspected drug house. Volunteers also help the department by helping with code enforcement, distributing crime prevention information, and patrolling neighborhoods and parks. There are also interns and trainees who assist the police department with administrative tasks and role-playing during training.