Another Selling Point for Phoenix Light Rail

Share a ride with a prisoner:

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies may soon begin taking some inmates to Fourth Avenue Jail on Metro light rail in a bid to cut costs.

The Sheriff's Office announced its intent to transport inmates using the light rail from 44th and Washington streets to the Fourth Avenue Jail in order to eliminate parking fees. MCSO estimates that the new system can save about $72,000 in transport fees.

Seems to be some funny economics at work if the city charges the Sheriff more money for parking a car at the jail than it does for at least 3 people to ride the metro.

Anyway, count on Sheriff Joe to ease any tension you might have with this share-a-ride program:

"There is nothing to be concerned or worried about as my deputies will be armed," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press release.

Great, but who is going to protect me from the sheriff?  And why does this statement remind me of the famous Al Haig "Don't Worry, I'm in charge" press conference?

  • Streaker

    What, has the sheriff gone on a shooting spree against innocent civilians? I guess that didn't make the news anywhere.

  • mahtso

    "[Sheriff] Arpaio said use of a rail system to transport inmates is not uncommon nationally and the plan will not present any danger to the public.****Under the new policy, inmates brought back to Arizona on warrants would be escorted on the light rail by two armed deputies, Arpaio said."

    The article leaves questions unanswered (1) Is the Sheriff correct that this is not uncommon (and what does not uncommon mean, in this context)? (2)Is parking free at the airport? Maybe the reporter could have called another law enforcement agency and asked them; or asked the airport spokesperson whether the policy was in writing, and if so to provide a copy (and if not,why not).

    Note that these inmates will have come in by plane; I assume on flights open to the public. Given the budget problems, every $72k helps and considering the cost of the rail (v. its true worth, see e.g. this blog) on the surface, this plan makes some sense.

    Your post highlights one of my biggest gripes: incomplete quotations or quoting out of context. As I recall, what Mr. Haig said was: I am in charge in the Whitehouse, pending the return of the Vice-President. The two key limitations are usually left out (I assume either out of ignorance or in a deliberate attempt to make Mr. Haig look bad.)

  • http://space4commerce.blogspot.com Brian Dunbar

    What, has the sheriff gone on a shooting spree against innocent civilians?

    Having Bad Men, cops and civilians in a confined area might be fine with you - but I'd prefer to be far away if something were to happen. And it will, someday.

    If you're okay with this, may I suggest you volunteer your time to drive criminals and deputies in your own car? It would save the county some bucks and you'd get a chance to meet interesting people.

    As I recall, what Mr. Haig said was: I am in charge in the Whitehouse, pending the return of the Vice-President

    What Al Haig said was

    Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State in that order, and should the President decide he wants to transfer the helm to the Vice President, he will do so. He has not done that. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the Vice President and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course.

  • feeblemind

    I thought the kick against light rail was that no one would ride it? Perhaps if they moved the prisoners at, oh.... 3:00 a.m., the deputies and prisoners would be the only riders?

  • Allen

    Has the union spoken up about this at all? I would think putting just 2 officers with a prisoner onto a train where they have little control over the situation at hand and would commonly have people all around would be a serious issue of officer safety.

    I have a hard time believing that that any other departments outside of 3rd world countries do this. Modern jails are specifically designed for handling prisoners in a secure fashion including have some sort of a car port designed for vehicles transporting prisoners. It may seem trite but there are actually a lot of little design things done to ensure everyone's safety and that the prisoner remains secured. Now it seems Joe thinks the added risks to the safety of his officers and the public is worth a measly $72,000 a year. For a department it's size, I'd venture they could save twice as much by leaving a couple of vacated administrative positions for 4-6 months.

    I for one would not want to be in the same light rail car as some of the shitbags that will be transported.

  • WestWright

    Sheriff Arpaio is a Folk Hero to many of us in fly-over land with the way he readily pokes his fingers in the eyes of the wimpy AZ political/bureaucracrat class that seem to ignore the damages done to this country by Criminal Aliens. For another perspective of Al Haig's Nixon WH career:
    http://www.nixonera.com/etexts/silentcoup/minor11.asp

  • mahtso

    Well after just a couple of trips the plan is over. The City gave the Sheriff parking passes, so the Sheriff says the plan is no longer required.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/traffic/lightrail/articles/2009/01/29/20090129abrk-conrailends.html

    One area of debate as the MSM goes down and blogs go up is whether or not the blogs will be able to provide the original reporting or content that MSM is purported to provide. The light rail story brings this to mind because the Republic's articles demonstrate a difference of opinion (fact?) in that the Sheriff says he did not have free parking and the City says he did. In my opinion, "real" reporting would involve investigating and determining who is correct. Because I don't see that the MSM regularly provides the content that naysayers say the blogs cannot provide, I also don't worry that blogs will not be able to do so.

  • V

    I have a sneaking suspicion that your sheriff is a politically savvy fellow, or he wouldn't have been able to accomplish all that he has and remain in office.

    On that assumption, I have to say that I think his assertion of herding criminals headed to jail on the rail system was most likely a publicity stunt engineered to get certain political figures to see sense and stop charging the sheriff for parking fees at his own jail. If he merely said, "People are charging me for parking at my own freaking jail" it might be construed as whining by certain others good at ye olde spin-doctor wizardry. However, he came up with a solution more horrific than the problem... though I admit he might actually try to implement said solution, if his words weren't listened to with sufficient care.

    What, you mean politicians don't lie to save respective asses?

    And this is just assuming that what's going on the surface is true. IT could be that our sheriff thinks that there's something hinky going on in the finances at the local level he doesn't have access to, and by producing a dramatic media blitz, perhaps some investigative reporter will ferret out the money-shuffling.

    Too bad our "illustrious" media is content to be a mouthpeice for the government (or who ever else is paying today) and not doing any actual investigative reporting... unless they are out to humiliate those who don't pay them off.