The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has launched a pilot program designed to reduce the time deputies spend transporting inmates.
The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/RAnOp6) that the test program will use detention officers instead of deputies to transport inmates to jail, a move that could free up as many as 2,000 hours for deputies each month. The program is aimed at preventing deputies from transporting inmates to far-flung locations in the 9,200-square-mile county to the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix.
But it will likely not alleviate a long-standing criticism police chiefs have leveled against Sheriff Joe Arpaio: his decision to close so-called satellite booking facilities in November 2007.
That decision left police agencies scrambling to devise plans to transport inmates to downtown Phoenix without taking police officers off the streets.