Joe Arpaio's "Tough on Crime" Persona Takes a Backseat -- Sheriff Offering Inmates Ice Cream and Frozen Towels Because It's Hot

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio likes to say he's the "toughest sheriff" in America.

That tough-guy persona apparently includes an ice cream social with the inmates at Tent City, as well as other "cooling items" for the inmates -- because it's hot outside.

Now Arpaio's go-to line about people locked up at Tent City having it way better than American troops in the Middle East sounds believable.

Last year, Arpaio decided to "cool it" on being a tough guy, when he called in a truck full of ice for the inmates over a July weekend that was expected to be as hot as 120 degrees.

It's expected to reach almost 115 degrees this weekend, according to the Sheriff's Office -- 113, according to the Weather Channel -- as Arpaio will start handing out ice, ice cream, and frozen pink towels this afternoon.

Arpaio has a history of handing out ice cream that expired more than a year before, so that could be about as "tough" as he gets, especially since there's already a large, air-conditioned room at Tent City for the inmates' use.

Last summer, Arpaio said no inmate in the history of the tents has ever had a "serious heat related health issue."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley