Green Valley Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers has a new cart to handle patrols and emergencies in Canoa Hills Trails park, but the added area shouldn't spread volunteers too thin, according to its leader.
SAV Commander Doug Kenyon said while the organization would always like more volunteers, the patrols planned for the new park at the former golf course, officially called Canoa Hills Trails — An Open Space Park, won't overburden volunteers.
A patrol schedule for the park isn't available yet, but Kenyon said there may be one four-hour patrol per shift and there will likely be a focus on having a presence during the morning when the trails will have the most visitors. While the SAV's new cart is still at its La Cañada Drive headquarters, they are in the process of getting a trailer to make transporting it easier.
Although the cart is street legal, it moves at about 16 mph. With the rolling hills and curves at the park, the limited speed was an intentional feature for the $18,000 cart, Kenyon said. In addition to the trailer, the SAV may get an on-site storage location at Canoa Trails to house the cart which is being kept in the station's garage with rest of the 10 SUV patrol fleet. The on-site storage would be part of Pima County's future plans for a maintenance facility, he said.
While the SAV does plan to have dedicated patrols throughout the day, the cart will be available at an on-call basis during times when there isn't an active patrol going on. The SAV will also have patrol units in their SUVs available. However, the cart has a specialized purpose in that it allows for access onto the tight trails and entry points to the park.
The cart is not only capable of going into the park where an ambulance may not be able to reach a person in an emergency situation, but it can also fold its back railings down to allow for transporting a stretcher.
"The problem with that new park is that you can't really get any real vehicles in there," Kenyon said.
"We average between 125 and 130 (volunteers) and it's been that way for the last six or seven years," Kenyon said. "We have a class starting in a couple of weeks and I believe there's 12 people in that class."
The SAV has a six-week course over four half-days per week. Volunteers learn defensive driving, CPR and AED, communications, patrol procedures, traffic control and other skills to assist the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
The SAV covers various roles in addition to patrols. Volunteers assist the Sheriff's Department in bailiff duties, traffic control, scam squad, fingerprinting and others.
"There's a lot of other activities besides patrol that we do, but we're pretty good," Kenyon said of staffing. "But like I said, we always like to increase our numbers. So we're always looking."