By Art Merrill
Canyon Country News
Black Canyon City will not get any more deputies to patrol the area, but it will get VIPs - if enough residents apply for the volunteer patrol service.
Yavapai County Supervisor Lorna Street met with Black Canyon City residents last Monday night, Oct. 29 at the Albin Civic Center.
While the meeting included a complaint about increased landfill fees, conflicting information regarding the equestrian park, and the ubiquitous request for road paving, the lack of adequate law enforcement patrol in Black Canyon City dominated the discussions.
"You're not telling me anything new about how many deputies you have," said Street, who lives at rural Yava, between Kirkland and Bagdad. "You folks in Black Canyon City have more deputies than where I live."
"We also have more crime," someone in the audience interrupted.
"And drugs," someone else added.
Several residents also complained about the high number of burglaries in Black Canyon City; others complained about continuing problems with teenagers. One woman was angry about a deputy's disparaging remarks about Black Canyon City made to her husband, a Maricopa County deputy. Another woman said deputies failed to respond to two out of three calls she made to report vandalism to three vacant homes.
Street agreed that BCC needs a greater law enforcement presence, but insisted that Yavapai County cannot afford to provide it. She said that, historically, the sheriff blamed the county supervisors for not providing enough deputies and the supervisors complained that, if they did provide for additional deputies the sheriff wouldn't place them where the supervisors wanted.
"I don't play that game," she said. "This is not about blame - this is not about any of that crap. That's political BS. The truth of the matter is that the sheriff has only so much resource to do the job, and it's not enough. I wish, as a board member, we could get him more resources to do the job, but there isn't enough to go around to do everything we have to do."
Street reminded the assembly that the money to operate law enforcement and to hire new officers comes from tax dollars. When asked about using grants to hire additional deputies, Street said Yavapai County has already hired six deputies under federal COPS grants.