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Phoenix considers safety and crime prevention project for 27th Avenue corridor

A high-crime corridor in Phoenix is getting extra attention. The City Council will consider a pilot project to devote more resources along 27 th Avenue.

Since 2018, the police department says shots fired calls have more than doubled, aggravated assaults are up 50%, armed robbery calls are up 12%, and drug possession is up 10%.

During Wednesday’s public safety subcommittee meeting, staff presented a two-year proposal involving multiple city departments and Arizona State University, which would collect and measure data and provide ongoing analysis.

The 27 th Avenue Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan focuses on these strategies:

  • Outreach, education and partnerships
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Enforcement

The police department, which  remains below minimum staffing levels approved by the council, plans to focus on technology. Assistant Chief Steve Martos described how 30 cameras mounted at key intersections could help.

“For example, if a crime occurred of an armed robbery with a shooting at 28 th Avenue and Indian School, capturing an individual who might be leaving that area, whether it be in a vehicle captured by a camera, then reading, being able to obtain that license plate is critical for us to be able to solve those types of crimes,” he said.

The public transit department would monitor criminal activity at bus stops, the street transportation department would add lighting at some I-17 underpasses and cleaning along a stretch of Hatcher Road and neighborhood services would devote an inspector to investigate blight and enforce city codes.

During public comment, a resident told the subcommittee: "This is important to me because I don't feel safe anymore. There's a lot of prostitution, homeless and drug activity."

Community complaints and police data are behind the proposal, which focuses on four intersections along 27 th Avenue: Indian School Road, Northern Avenue, the former Metrocenter Mall area and Bell Road from Interstate 17 to 35th Avenue. It also includes Hatcher Road from Seventh to 19 th avenues.

Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari requested the proposal include all 27 th Avenue intersections between Indian School Road and Northern Avenue. Details and costs will be adjusted with both options presented to the full council at a future meeting.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.