APD’s Open Space Division is made up of seven collateral officers and five Police Service Aides (PSAs). The team members spend their time targeting crime and also responding to open-space calls as they come in.
The PSAs check gates in the Southwest, Bosque, and Foothill areas. They also monitor parking lots, pay attention to camping, and fires, and redirect people illegally camping or starting fires. If things escalate, then the officers will respond to the scene.
“We now have more police officers fighting crime and an expanded, but more efficient, Open Space and Rescue team in place at APD,” Chief Medina said. “Our top priority is fighting crime while making the best use of taxpayer dollars. We will continue to grow the team and work with the broader search and rescue community to cover the open spaces in the Metro Area.”
In the past six months, only six calls have been made for open space areas.
The department said the community has given positive feedback about the presence of PSAs in those areas. More collateral positions will be posted during the summer, they said.