The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office announced today that it's currently training 22 military veterans to be detention officers at the MCSO's jails.
As you're probably aware, the MCSO currently has more than a few openings for detention officer gigs (more on that below).
In October, Sheriff Joe Arpaio issued a press release announcing that military veterans returning from war would get preferential treatment when it comes to getting jobs with the MCSO.
Giving members of the military preferential treatment in hiring practices is not abnormal. Announcing that type of policy in a press release, however, is.
"My previous military service assisted me in beginning my law enforcement career in 1954, and now I have the privilege to extend this opportunity to veterans today," Arpaio says in a press release.
The training program lasts nine weeks, and according to the MCSO, "will prepare new recruits to work the rigorous tasks of dealing with inmates in the jail facilities."
As we mentioned, the MCSO currently is in need of some new detention officers, as several now-former DOs successfully made the transition from guard to inmate.
For example, former DO Kevin Gerster currently is serving a one-year sentence for -- amongst other things -- beating the crap out of a couple of inmates. In one case, video shows Gerster stomping on an inmate's neck.
Then there's DO Jeffery Higgins, who pleaded not guilty last week to charges that he got wasted and pointed a loaded gun at his own son. Then, allegedly shitfaced, he drove his truck about 15 miles to a lake, which is where he was arrested.
And lest we forget former DOs Sylvia Najera and Marcella Hernandez, each of whom probably would still be a detention officer if they weren't moonlighting as associates of a Mexican drug cartel.
There are still a few MCSO detention officers who haven't been charged with any crimes -- many of whom had co-starring roles in the now-infamous Marty Atencio video.
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Atencio, a mentally ill military veteran, was booked into jail on an assault charge in December. The video, which you can see here, shows more than a dozen MCSO detention officers and Phoenix cops standing around as Atencio was being booked into jail.
For no apparent reason, as Atencio was standing in a room full of law enforcement officers and already in custody (with his arms folded, no less), several of the officers violently brought him to the ground. With a pile of law enforcement officers on top of Atencio, an MCSO DO is then seen Tasering the inmate several times.
Atencio died about a week later from injuries he suffered at the hands of the DOs.
Kudos to Arpaio for helping out those brave enough to fight for our freedom -- let's just hope Taser Use 101 is part of the training curriculum.