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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Meeting Report: Crime & Low-Flying Aircraft-Town of Marana-12/7/22

Police Chief Reuben Nuñez Reviewing Crime Reduction Strategy


Approximately 85 Dove Mountain residents attended last night's meeting at the Marana Police Department Community Room regarding the recent uptick in crime and low-flying aircraft in the Dove Mountain region. Terry Rozema (Town Manager and former Police Chief) provided introductions, Reuben Nuñez (Police Chief) gave a presentation on crime and Galen Beem (Marana Regional Airport Superintendent) provided information on low- flying aircraft.

Thanks to Terry, Chief Nuñez and Galen for these presentations and responding to all the resident's questions. Special thanks to Andrea Caicedo (Assistant To Town Manager) for making all the arrangements for this meeting.

The following summarizes the key information gleaned from the meeting.



Marana PD Background Information

  • 56 current police officers, 7 squads

  • 15 police officer vacancies to be filled for a total of 71 police officers

  • 3 overlapping shifts per day

  • cover 127 square miles

  • 4 districts (see map below) with Dove Mountain in District #4

Marana General Crime Information

  • Calls For Service (CFS)

    • 2021-16,601 CFS

    • 2022-18,210 CFS (+1,609/+9.7%)

  • Property Crime 5 Year Average = 24 crimes/1,000 population (see Table below). Marana is 7th safest Town/City in AZ and the 2nd safest for population over 30,000!

  • Opioid Crisis-respond to daily overdoses and causing crime to increase, i.e. addicts have to fund the addiction

  • Tucson Regional Free Busing Program-criminals take advantage of free bus transportation and come to Marana and shop lift. Many caught at the bus stops trying to return with the stolen goods.

  • Porch Pirates-beware especially this time of year

  • Crime Time-10 PM to 3 AM

  • No Desert Homeless Encampments-desert areas have been sweeped and no homeless encampments have been found

  • Trained community volunteers that assist Marana PD

  • Uniformed and utilize marked police vehicles and cover the entire Town

  • Vacation Watch Program-will watch your home when away on vacation

11/19/22-Dove Mountain Vehicle Crime Wave

  • 17 vehicles broken into for valuables and garage door openers in several Dove Mountain HOAs (gated & un-gated)

  • Vehicles Parked Outdoors-some vehicle windows broken and some vehicles were not locked

  • Garaged Vehicles-entered via side-garage doors that were not locked

  • Other than garages, interior of homes were not burglarized

  • Group of criminals were apparently dropped off and entered HOAs on foot

Marana PD Response To Dove Mountain 11/19/22 Incident

  • Ongoing investigation of 17 vehicle break-ins

  • Increased police officer presence in Dove Mountain-confirmed by the attendees

  • Installed license plate reader along Dove Mountain Boulevard

  • This type of crime wave has stopped in Dove Mountain (for now) as the crime group has moved on to other areas but Dove Mountain residents must remain vigilant

Marana PD Crime Reduction Strategy

  • Eliminate Crime Opportunities-Public Education

    • Home Security Brochure-download below

    • Lock It or Lose It Brochure-download below

  • Encourage Home and HOA High Definition Cameras

  • HOA List Service-Marana PD provides HOA management latest information on crime and crime prevention. Make sure your HOA is on this List.

  • Crime Data Analysis-analyze crime data to predict future crime types and locations. Go to Community Crime Map to see crime types and locations in Marana.

Marana PD-Home Security Brochure
Download PDF • 3.82MB

Marana PD-Lock It or Lose It Brochure
Download PDF • 2.74MB

Low-Flying Aircraft

Town Manager Terry Rozema (L) & Airport Superintendent Galen Beem (R) Discuss Marana Regional Airport and Low-Flying Aircraft

Marana Regional Airport (MRA) General Information

MRA is owned by the Town of Marana and has a business arrangement with Pima Aviation Services, Inc. which operates the Flight Based Operations (FBO) entity called the Tucson Aeroservice Center (hanger leasing, fuel, ground transportation, catering, etc.).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has jurisdiction over MRA airspace but it is "uncontrolled", i.e. there is no air traffic control. Therefore, planes that originate from MRA or other airports are not controlled in this airspace and can take off and land at MRA on their own.

Low-flying Aircraft & Noise Complaints

Because MRA has no jurisdiction of its airspace, any low-flying aircraft and/or noise complaints must be made with the FAA. Marana has provided a convenient way to file an FAA complaint. Marana urged all residents to file FAA complaints for each low-flying aircraft or noise observation. Click on the button below and it will take you to the Marana/Airport webpage. Just click on Noise Complaint and the FAA Noise Complaint eForm pops up.

You can also download a flight tracking app (Flightradar24, FlightAware, etc.) on your smartphone to gather and provide more details about the low-flying aircraft when filing an FAA complaint.

Please read more about low-flying aircraft by downloading the FAA brochure below.

FAA-Low Flying Aircraft Brochure
Download PDF • 3.31MB

A representative from a parachute plane company was in attendance and he promised to work with the other parachute plane companies to stay away from residential areas.

New Control Tower

Marana is currently planning to build a control tower which will hopefully be completed and placed in service in 2025. When this happens, the MRA airspace will be controlled and all aircraft will have to be directed by air traffic control. It was stated that the new tower would be manned 18 hours per day. Hopefully, this will solve the low-flying aircraft issues but until then our only option is to keep filing FAA complaints.

Concerned was raised about larger planes taking off and landing at MRA when the control tower is placed in service. It was stated that MRA air traffic will be controlled and required to fly on a direct flight path into and out of MRA which will avoid circulating over residential areas.


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