Recall Joe!

That's what a group led by the well-connected family of one of Arpaio's own injured deputies is working to see happen

The Tribune quoted the men as saying they agreed to talk because they believe Arpaio's reorganization of the SWAT team and other changes put the lives of deputies and the public at greater risk.

Soon after the gunfight, Arpaio disbanded the entire SWAT team. And, typically, Arpaio launched a witch hunt. He called for an internal investigation of SWAT and ordered its former officers not to discuss the reorganization.

Despite the turmoil and his publicly disbanding the squad, Arpaio suddenly claimed the other day that he has a fully functioning SWAT team, after all. And, guess what? It's eligible for a $350,000 federal Homeland Security grant, he maintained.

Is Outlaw Joe losing his grip on the MCSO?
Jackie Mercandetti
Is Outlaw Joe losing his grip on the MCSO?
Nearly 1,000 inmates are locked down inside Arpaio's 
Tent City jail.
Peter Scanlon
Nearly 1,000 inmates are locked down inside Arpaio's Tent City jail.

Law enforcement experts say this is impossible, since the MCSO would have to all but start from scratch after eliminating the unit. It takes years of highly specialized team training, they say, to create an efficient and effective strike squad.

As for the grant, it's supposed to fund a highly specialized emergency-response unit capable of operating sophisticated equipment that could be used in the event of a terrorist attack.

The City of Phoenix is managing a program to create eight crack response teams scattered across the county. Phoenix is expected to supply personnel for three of these units, but has only enough manpower to fully staff two. The third was to be manned by members of the sheriff's office's SWAT and bomb squads.

Now serious questions have been raised over whether the MCSO can fulfill this mission. Skeptics say it appears the sheriff's office is merely seeking the money to provide basic training for an entirely new SWAT team -- which is not what the grant is intended to do.

Jake Jacobson, executive director of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, a police labor union, says Arpaio is attempting to deceive federal and state authorities by falsely claiming he has a SWAT team capable of handling the duties required by the Homeland Security grant's specifications.

"It's a farce!" Jacobson declares. "To us, it borders on criminal that he's trying to take this money under the guise he has a SWAT team when, in reality, he doesn't."

MCSO supporters will quickly dismiss Jacobson's comments, claiming he's trying to undermine Arpaio in any way possible because the sheriff refuses to negotiate contracts with police unions. But other officials involved in the Homeland Security grant also are wary of the sheriff's office's handling of its SWAT team and the application for the grant.

Marcus Aurelius, emergency management coordinator overseeing Homeland Security grant applications in Phoenix, says he's also concerned over whether any new sheriff's SWAT team is qualified to receive the money.

"This thing is not over with. It's not a done deal," Aurelius says about whether the MCSO will get the money. "We're moving forward with things based upon what we have been told [by sheriff's office brass]. They are either correct in their statements, or they're not. If they're not, they're going to be held accountable for that."


SWATgate is the latest in a long and twisted avenue of screw-ups by Arpaio since he was first elected in 1992.

The most recent and expensive misadventure has been his failure to staff two new state-of-the-art jails.

Taxpayers have spent more than $500 million to build the facilities with more than 3,200 beds. Yet the jails remain virtually unused because Arpaio has been unable to fill more than 1,200 detention officer vacancies needed to safely operate the new facilities.

It's not as if the need for additional detention officers is a surprise.

Arpaio has had seven years to make sure there would be enough detention officers to open the jails. Voters first approved a 1/5th-of-a-cent sales tax for jail construction and operations in 1998. In 2002, voters extended the jail tax through 2027. The sales tax was projected to generate several billion dollars to build and operate new criminal justice facilities in the county.

In an effort to attract detention officers, the county has raised starting pay to about $32,000 a year and lowered the employment age to 18. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of detention officers getting trained. However, attrition remains high, and the overall shortfall of guards remains about the same as it was a year ago.

Working conditions inside the operating jails are horrible, with many guards working extra shifts. The county also is competing for qualified applicants with far more professional police agencies in the Valley.

The result is, few qualified applicants with any common sense want to work for a vengeful and paranoid boss like Arpaio.

"If employees speak out against the sheriff, they can almost be assured that an internal investigation will be undertaken and any prime position they have will be in jeopardy of being lost," says Brian Livingston, executive director of the Arizona Police Association, a trade and lobbying group that represents scores of police employee groups throughout the state.

Opening the new jails and quickly completing the planned remodeling of Madison Street Jail would greatly reduce the horrendous overcrowding in county lockups and help settle claims in an ongoing federal class-action lawsuit that has been before the U.S. District Court in Phoenix for 28 years.

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10 comments
hophead
hophead

What is the old saying? A snowballs chance in hell? Arpaio is saving your sorry asses from criminals and illegals and you want him gone. That positively shows me and millions that you want him gone to further your control of the area government.

Sonia
Sonia

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is nothing but a CLOWN, YES A CLOWN!!!! All he wants is publicity whether is good or bad FREE publicity is just that Free publicity. He doesn't do his job the way it should be done. DRUGS, GANGS, MURDERS and more crimes are at it's high. WHY? because he's more worried about TV ratings than fighting crime. And all the people that support him are nothing but IGNORANT RACISTS! That cannot difference between a Hispanic US citizen and an Illegal alien. They're soooooo STUPID, that think that ALL people with brown skin and dark hair are illegals. I say put Joe Arpaio to the TEST.!!!!!!

jaded
jaded

Sign me up too...Umm WAIT!... I will stand in the sweltering heat with you. This guy has got to go! Women dying,blind guys beaten,OMG did we move ten thousand years back in time?What a blatant disgrace to the human race... ok some people did drugs,got a dui,came to a country for a better life ...someone order a psychiatric EVAL for HIM!

Linda Bates
Linda Bates

Sign me up. Where can I find a petition to sign. I've been waiting for this for a long time. The man is a egomaniac and dangerous.

Ginger Mattox
Ginger Mattox

I am not fond of volunteering for anything but I will stand on a street corner with clip board in hand for hours to gather signatures for a recall to our infamous sheriff if it would help to get this pompous blow-hard out of our lives. The old geezer should have retired a decade ago instead of considering running for another term. What respectable old western town would ever have had a 79 year old sheriff (which will be his age at the end of another term)? What a joke! He is a disgrace to our commuity.

fran denatale
fran denatale

As a parent & law abiding citizen, who votes, i want to see arpio out, he is nothing more then a blow hart, e-go driven nut case. No one is saying that people who brake the law , should get away with it , but he has no right to treat inmates like animals(no, he treats animals better)there is desease, starvation , ransit food that makes them sick, if inmates don't have family to put money in their accounts, they would starve, arpio sticks it to the family members every time.there is alot of staff infections, not letting them see sunlight weeks at a time, we are talking inmates with dui's or drug problems , i'm not talking violent or murder, treat accordingly . all arpio gets repeat offenders, by their treatment , they are made bitter, not better, how do i know all this , my son has had a drug problem that lasted 1& 1half year at 24 ,didn't have one till we moved here, iv'e lived in many places, this place is the worst, my son 's treatment has been horriable at his jails.He was sentenced to department of corrections & at that time was examined & evaluated to be bi-polar & has since been on medication. he has since been brought back to the county jail to face another charge in which it took the county 45 days to acknowledge & administer the meds the state had already prescribed for him & was in his paper work , he kept asking & 3times in written form.he went from 800 mils. to nothing ,(jail creates the problems) give a small mind a little power , it goes to their heads, that's arpio.i am a hair dresser with a big mouth& i see alot of people , vote for dan saban, a good man , i voted for arpio, before we got involved in the system & saw how he runs things , i am one angry italian mom, i will tell everyone not vote for him.

Red
Red

I would lay odds,(that is if I wasn't a Christian) that these poor mistreated prisoners would not want to trade places with our "honest, law abiding" men and women who have to serve time in a heat far worse that they could ever stand up to. Not only do they have to take the heat, (and the women have to wear covers over their face when out on a stroll)on top of all the battle gear. They also have to dodge bullets and mines. They do this , not because they want to be there, but because they want to defend the greatest country in the world. Even if that means some get to live off the country free,(this also needs to stop) or the drug infested "holly wood" type keep putting them dowm. (What happened to the Jimmy Stewart bred of men), or if some nuckle-headed punk wants to brake the law.

Red
Red

I have not seen all of the info. on the subject, however what I have seen and read, I fully agree with the Sheriff. If we made it "not so nice" maybe they would not want to go to jail in the first place. I know, I know, no one wants to go to jail. Well then, and I quote, "don't do the crime if you don't want to do the time. I may get rid of the "pink" though.

lele woodcook
lele woodcook

WE THINK THAT THE LAW THERE MUST BE A LOT BETTER THAN IT IS HEREYOU NEED TO COME HERE AND TEACH THEM A THING OR TO.WE ALSO THINK YOU NEED TO RUN FOR PRESDENT.IT MAKES ME THINK THAT WHEN THE PRISONS TREAT THERE BAD PEOPLE BETTER THEN OUR PEOPLE IN THE WAR THERE IS A PROBLEM.THE PRISNERS ARE NOT LEARNING ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT ALL THEY WILL GET IS A SLAPON THE WRIST. WE THE TAX PAYERS SHOULDNT BE RESPONSABLE FOR PAYING FOR THERE STAY AT THE BIG HOUSE.THERE NOT THERE TO BABYED THEY ARE THERE TO BE PUNISHED.

Mary
Mary

I have jusr received an e-mail which set out some facts about the tent city, pink gear and other methods of humiliation of prisoners. My reaction was disbelief that not only is the man getting re-elected but that the inhumanity is being allowed in the country which purports to have a modern top-class legal system????

Yeah!

David Hicks!

Inhumanity is alive and well in the US of A

 
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