Phoenix Cops Go Undercover; Dressing as Grounds Crew to Catch Speeders at Sky Harbor Airport

There's a little-known shortcut to get from downtown Phoenix to Tempe during rush hour. Some of those in the know call it cheating. We tell those people to pipe down because it's our preferred way home from work.

The shortcut goes directly through Sky Harbor International Airport and allows you to bypass the parking lot that I-10 becomes between the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson tells New Times the cops are hip to the shortcut and that police have come up with a sneaky method of busting speeders: dress officers up as grounds crew and arm them with radar guns.

"There's no law against [the shortcut]," he says. "But we've got people using the airport as a freeway...they've got to slow down."

The disguised officers monitor the roads leading into the airport. When they see someone speeding, they call to another officer waiting down the road in a police cruiser to issue the ticket.

Not exactly the most glamorous undercover assignment for a cop but it's certainly sneaky.

Thompson says that yesterday they busted a guy doin' 73 MPH through the airport. He says the department will probably continue to use this method. 

So, if you're speeding through the airport, keep your eyes peeled for a baggage handler with a radar gun.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.