Merchants in downtown Chandler plan to hire an offduty police officer in a further attempt to push the day labor trade away from their businesses.
The officer will target vehicles violating the city’s no-stopping law along Arizona Avenue just south of Chandler Boulevard. The Downtown Chandler Community Partnership Enhancement District will foot the bill for at least a month before deciding its next step.
The move, authorized by the district board last week, is aimed at enhancing safety for the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort and the dozens of restaurants, galleries and boutique shops in the city’s historic district.
The police officer will come with a patrol car, though the district expects the officer to spend most of his or her time walking the square.
“Ideally, we’d like he or she to do that,” said Martha Place, executive director for the district. “The bicycle patrol does that, and we have had just marvelous reactions from our downtown shops and business owners.”
At least to start, the officer will patrol from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily. The city’s no-stopping ordinance in that area is in effect from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.
But the majority of the day labor trade in the area happens on private property. City officials have said there are between 80 and 100 workers along the downtown avenue every morning waiting for contractors, landscapers and private residents to hire them.
District officials said they will study what effects having the officer makes on discouraging day laborers from gathering near the downtown businesses. If the trial is successful, they’ll consider making the move permanent or hiring a private security guard.