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Arizona Doc Executive Summary Perimeter Security Assessment 2010

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Robert Patton, Division Director, Prison Operations


Ivan C. Bartos, Northern Region Operations Director


August 20,2010


Executive Summary Perimeter Security Assessment

In accordance with your explicit instructions, I personally toured every Level IIIIMedium Custody
facility in both regions in five days and conducted an assessment of key perimeter security
Included in this review was an assessment of:
• Perimeter Patrols-post orders, vehicles, weapons/ammunition and practices
• Sand Traps
• Fencing, razor wire type, placement and condition, no-climb and fencing hardware
• Perimeter alarm systems, type, testing methodologies and documentation
• Procedures, practices and oversight of systems related to response, testing, maintenance and
coordination between unit and complex elements needed to address alarm response and
maintenance issues
• Knowledge and awareness levels of key staff in perimeter security systems; workplace
practices, written and unwritten, that impact the effectiveness of a given unit's ability to
respond quickly and effectively to alarms, breaches in no-man' s land areas, secure perimeter
zones or exterior fences.
Along with relevant findings, I am including what I feel are "best practices" in key areas, as well as
general recommendations based on the unique perspective that this very narrow and focused task
gave me about this most fundamental aspect of our responsibility to the Arizona taxpayer.
A. Perimeter Patrols

All medium-custody units are patrolled by armed perimeter patrols 2417. Most have a dedicated
patrol that continuously patrols the perimeter of one unit. Three larger complexes, (Lewis, Perryville
and Tucson) have a complex perimeter fence inside of which several units are situated, designed to
share perimeter patrols. While efficient from a staffing perspective, this physical configuration
requires multiple patrol elements due to the size of these shared perimeters and its impact on
response times.
Concern: Patrols required to leave perimeter to perform other tasks. At Yuma, this caused the

assigned patrol to be absent from Cheyenne Unit perimeter for approx. 45 minutes.


Recommendation: Perimeter patrols should be continuous, with relief coverage provided during
bathroom breaks or for meals or refueling. Requirements to intentionally abandon the perimeter can
be noted and considered by inmates plotting an escape.
Concern: The vast complex perimeter at Perryville requires two perimeter patrols to respond
effectively to alarms. Despite what appeared to be an abundance of staff, one of two perimeter
patrols necessary to cover the common exterior perimeter was collapsed, leaving only one. The one
lone perimeter patrol was also required to leave on occasion and patrol the minimum units across the
street leaving no armed coverage on the external perimeter.
Concern: The relief process is a concern across the board. Most complexes carry over all weapons
and ammunition from one shift to the next. Most perimeter patrol officers indicated they relied on
the magazine indicator on the back of each magazine instead of physically unloading and reloading
their weapons and magazines. Thus, on most of our perimeters we may go days before a missing
round is detected.
Best Practice: ASPC-Tucson and ASPC-Safford, who affords their oncoming perimeter officers
fresh weapons, magazines and ammo.
Require oncoming shifts to obtain
. . a new issue of weapons and ammo, which
they then must count and load personally. Off-going patrols must then unload their weapons and
count before turning them into the armory.
Concern: Less-lethal capability in perimeter patrol vehicles. Most perimeter patrols now have
to perimeter patrols, and ASPC-Lewis had
in addition
to the _
and _
Every location in which this in place expressed concerns about the
mixed munitions types and what circumstances these
options would be employed,
the fear of using the wrong type of munitions, or what should be loaded in the
Post orders
do not contain instruction on how this affects the use of force continuum.
Recommendation: While no one seems to be able to recall when or why those less lethal options
are part of the perimeter patrol inventory, it is truly hard to envision a scenario in which the
perimeter patrol is likely to need and use a less than lethal force option. Standardize the issue of
weapons for perimeter patrols to lethal force only, acknowledging that the perimeter patrol is the last
defense against an attempted escape.
Concern: Weapons handling issues. At Yuma, one perimeter officer left her_ in the center
console, spare magazine on the passenger seat. At Perryville, only'8magazines are issued. At
Eyman, a perimeter officer kept her spare magazines in a paddle style magazine carried, on the
passenger seat, claiming the paddle hurt her waist.
Recommendation: As most of these staff when questioned, indicated that they had been visited on
post during their shift by the supervisor, all of these sloppy habits could have been detected and
corrected. Quality of supervision is the key.


B. Fencing

Much like the units themselves, our medium custody units have many differences· in the perimeter
fencing designs. All medium custody units have at least one 14' candy cane fence around the
perimeter. Nearly all have 3 stacked coils of30" razor ribbon or detainer hook-barb razor wire at the
bottom of the external perimeter fence, and a single coil at the top. After that, the fence configuration
varies dependant on the type of alarm system, the availability ofa patrolled exterior perimeter, or age
of the facility.
Concern: Due to the wear and tear of years of maintenance, older units show signs of significant
degradation of the bottom coil of the outer fence. In extreme cases, there was a significant gap
between the ground and the bottom coil of razor wire. This was noted at Florence, Eyman and
Recommendation: Map out and replace razor wire that is not structurally sound. Supervise inmate
work crews closely when clearing out between the zones. Chief of Security should include the
integrity of the fences, alarms, razor wire and gates in his monthly security device inspection.
Concern: At South Unit, there are significant blind spots in sections of the perimeter where the

bottom half of the perimeter is a wall topped with a fence. This is an antiquated design which
appears to depend on several towers to be manned, as the patrol cannot see into the zones if
activated. Presently they drive to a spot that affords them a view to clear the zone, but this might be
some distance from the alarm.
Recommendation: Install cameras to provide coverage in the blind spots. Tear down the walls and

replace with prototypical fencing .
.Concern: Some locations do not have a system to inspect the exterior fence hardware, relying

instead. on the observations
of perimeter patrols.
Recommendation: Require a dismounted, close inspection of the integrity of all perimeter fences,

at least weekly.
Concern: Sandtraps are an important part of our perimeter security systems. The native soil in
some locations is not well-suited for showing tracks in the perimeter. This was especially true at
Douglas, Perryville and Tucson.
Recommendation: As noted previously, SDI's which are normally centered on inside the unit
security devices and features, should specifically include all aspects of perimeter security, including
the suitability of sand traps. Locations with inferior native soil should procure sand and continually
assess the usefulness of the sand traps.
Concern: Excessive gates into "no-mans-Iand" or affording access to the alarm zones between the



Recommendation: Every gate is a potential vulnerability in a prison, and as such should be limited
to the bare minimum needed to operate-a single access point for pedestrians or vehicles.
Convenience-based gates should be eliminated completely, not just chained or spot welded shut.
C. Alarms and Perimeter Security Systems
Concern: Perimeter officers responding to the wrong zone. Zones are not labeled.
Recommendation: All unit perimeter zones should be clearly labeled on the side the response is
expected, which in some units may be on both sides of the exterior fence. While this is the case at
most locations, it is not universal and should be, even at those locations that are fortunate enough to
have integrated lighting in zones that are active.
Concern: Automated print outs are not available at all locations. In some cases, such as Cook Unit,
this is due to an inoperable printer. In others, such as the brand new Cibola Unit, the Captain
advised that he must request alarm infonnation from the vendor, Norment Security Systems, and this
could take several days. Even where alarm reports are available, this resource is not universally used
to assess our response capability.
Recommendation: Require that alarm print outs be attached to shift report and that alann reports be
reviewed for trouble areas and response time infonnation. Require that every alann is logged in the
service journal of the alarm monitor (usually main control) and the responder (perimeter patrol
and/or yard officer). Use alann printout to reconcile alarm responses (spot check)
Concern: Faulty alarms or false alarms cause staff to clear them without dispatching a patrol. This
was observed at Perryville. The staff member indicated that she knew what the problem was (tree
branches blowing into a microwave zone on the roof). Per the officer on post, this had been
happening for weeks. According to the Major, this had not been reported to him.
Recommendation: As stated above.
Concern: At Cibol~ the new alarm system and call buttons have the same, irritating tone. During a
test, it was noted that the officer cleared the alarm before the perimeter patrol arrived at the zone.
While the officer monitoring the alarms in control was new, a visit on post revealed that this alarm
tone was almost constant with staff waiting to access secure areas of the facility.
Recommendation: Configure alarm panel to produce a distinctive tone when a zone goes into alann
mode as opposed to someone waiting to enter a building.
Concern: At Perryville, routine tests of the microwave zones for the expansive no-mans-land were
not conducted; relying instead on frequent inmate work crews to provide feedback on the condition
of the zones.
Best Practice: At Perryville, the shaker wire alanns at the medium unit fences are tested every shift
with a 3 chime tool that not only tests the zones, but affords input on the sensitively of each zone.
The officer tests by using 3 chimes that are progressively larger, and require most stimulation to set
off the alarm.

Recommendation: Test zone alarms on every shift, every day, without exception. Large zone areas
such as is the case at Perryville can simply be driven thru to check the working conditions of the
zones, as is the case at Tucson. Adopt the 3 chime testing implement at all units using shaker wire.
D. Supervision
Concern: Many Captains, some Majors, and some Deputy Wardens were very uninformed about
their perimeter security system, how it works, and how it integmtes with complex security.
Recommendation: Enhance existing physical plant standards for every aspect of medium custody,
inclusive of fences, razor wire, alarms, etc. Make these standards easily accessible via intranet to
every employee. Afford extensive training in physical plant standards, alarm systems and other
aspects of perimeter security, and train every chief of security in the technical aspects of their duties.
Develop a punch list of items related to perimeter security with universal inspection intervals and
incorporate into security device inspection process.