Longform

Gilbert's One-Man War on Crime

For 15 years, Arizona Republic editorial cartoonist Steve Benson has vigilantly policed Arizona politics, unleashing attacks on fat cats, sacred cows, snowbirds and whale-savers.

In 1993, he won a Pulitzer Prize. Since then, he's broken with the Mormon church (his late grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, was president of the denomination), and Steve is even rumored to swill the occasional beer.

But Benson is nothing if not iconoclastic. That's why nobody was all that surprised when the fresh-faced father of four decided to take a bite out of crime, as a certified officer of the law.

That's right--he'll soon be armed and badged and busting bad guys as a reserve officer for the Gilbert Police Department. He'll walk the thin blue line between capturing crooks and caricaturing them. He'll be trading in his pen for a nightstick. It portends some tantalizing possibilities.

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Bob Boze Bell