Facebook Twitter YouTube RSS Feed Email Subscription
Get department news and community notifications online:

Search & Rescue / Park Enforcement Unit

dps_ranger.jpgSearch and Rescue

The Park Enforcement /Search and Rescue (PESAR) Unit has multiple missions.  It is tasked with law enforcement responsibilities in Pima County parks and open spaces as well as being responsible for search, rescue and recovery of missing and lost people.  The unit is staffed with eight deputies and a sergeant.  These deputies are trained to manage search and rescue operations to ensure effective and efficient use of all available resources.  Deputies receive extensive training in first aid, rope rescue, and other technical areas.  PESAR routinely patrols over 90 parks properties and open spaces in the county.  To maximize coverage, the unit partners with the Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers Park Patrol.  When dealing Search and Rescue, PESAR often employs the services of the Search and Rescue Council, Inc (SARCI).  SARCI is a non-profit corporation that coordinates a cadre of all-volunteer local search and rescue groups.  These include the Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA), Southwest Rescue Dogs, Inc (SRDI), Pima County Search and recovery Divers and the Southern Arizona Mounted Search and Rescue (SAMSAR). The goal is to maintain a safe and peaceful atmosphere in Pima County Parks and to find and rescue those in peril thus allowing all to enjoy our desert and mountainous environs.


  2009 2010 2011 2012
Total Missions 220 315 147 284
Search Operations 102 171 98 135
Rescue Operations 94 128 65 130
Body Recoveries 24 16 9 19
Total Mission Hours 867 1355.50 882.25 1045




Park Enforcement

Until recently, the Pima County Natural Resources Department was commissioned to enforce state laws and local ordinances on Pima County park properties. However, the Pima County Board of Supervisors has reallocated that responsibility to the Pima County Sheriff's Department. In response to this mandate, the Sheriff has created the Parks Enforcement Unit, which consists of five deputies and a sergeant. Additionally, the Sheriff has solicited the assistance of the Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers to provide non-law enforcement assistance to the Parks Enforcement Unit. While the Parks Enforcement Unit will pursue traditional law enforcement activities, the volunteers will act in concert with their efforts by providing services such as mobile observation and public assistance.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department's Parks Enforcement Unit is responsible for patrolling park properties on foot, bike, and all terrain vehicles. Additionally, the Parks Enforcement Unit will provide search and rescue services throughout Pima County, as well as park properties. They are also responsible for directing patrol efforts toward specific criminal activities that drain public resources and hinder the family friendly environment that Pima County parks are known for.

« Return to Support Operations Division