Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has issued a statewide declaration of emergency related to public unrest related to violent protests in the Valley and across the country.
The declaration puts into place a statewide curfew beginning at 8 p.m. this evening, Sunday, May 31, and continuing from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Monday, June 8 at 5 a.m.
“At the request of local leaders and in coordination with state and local law enforcement, I’m issuing a statewide Declaration of Emergency and curfew starting at 8 p.m. tonight and effective for one week,” Governor Ducey said. “This gives law enforcement an additional tool to prevent the lawlessness we’ve seen here and in cities nationwide.
“Police will be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest. Today’s declaration also authorizes an expanded National Guard mobilization to protect life and property throughout the state.
“Our office will continue to communicate with local law enforcement to provide whatever resources we can.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone is calling on people to abide by the curfew and use caution.
“As the Sheriff of Maricopa County, I want all of you know that our office and deputies are doing everything possible to mitigate the potential danger to people and property during this period of unrest. We are invested in your safety, Penzone said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
“I ask that you be vigilant to mitigate the threats to yourselves, personal property and any members of a vulnerable population. Please be alert and do not hesitate to call law enforcement if they are needed.”
“This being said, our great county covers over 9,000 square miles and our staff are doing everything possible to work with public safety partners to suppress criminal looting and keep people safe who are at the center of dangerous unrest. Additionally, we are dealing with a major fire in the Cave Creek area which consumes a significant amount of law enforcement resources.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is under contract to the Town of Fountain Hills to provide law enforcement protection.
Capt. Larry Kratzer, commander for MCSO District 7 based in Fountain Hills, told The Times he is uncertain about the impact on Fountain Hills, but since the declaration is statewide the curfew does apply. Kratzer noted that a softball tournament taking place at Golden Eagle Park was scheduled until 10 p.m. but will cut short at 8 p.m.
Kratzer said law enforcement will be paying particular attention to public places like parks.