- Associated Press - Monday, September 7, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has preliminary plans for security upgrades at its offices, including erecting a six-foot wrought-iron fence and traffic-control arms to regulate who drives into the parking lot.

Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for Attorney General Mark Brnovich, told the Arizona Capitol Times (https://bit.ly/1NdMiCo) that the office began examining possible security improvements in March in response to a number of incidents in its parking lot.

Anderson said numerous cars have been broken into, female employees have been accosted and verbally harassed and employees have witnessed drug sales in the lot. In addition, some employees, including Brnovich, have received death threats, Anderson said.

Because of the agency’s location and proximity to nearby homeless shelters, people often use the parking lot as a thoroughfare, Anderson said.

“A great deal of the incidents we’ve had here on site at the law building have been directly related to individuals having access to our parking lot and our employees,” Anderson said. “We are probably the least secure large-scale law enforcement agency in the state.”

Anderson said the Attorney General’s Office hasn’t had a major security upgrade since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The fence is estimated to cost about $364,000. But Anderson said the Attorney General’s Office has no concrete plans yet on moving forward.

Anderson said the money for the fencing and about $96,000 in other planned security measures will come from funds that are already in the attorney general’s budget, so the office won’t require additional expenditures.

But Anderson said the office is “still exploring what our options are, what costs might look like.” He also noted that the agency still needs to consult with other government entities first, including the City of Phoenix and the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission.

“We don’t have a timeline for everything to move forward,” he said.


Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, https://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

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