Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's crusade to become the face of the fight against illegal immigration has paid off -- the National Sheriff's Association announced yesterday that he's been named the 2011 Sheriff of the Year.
The NSA cites Babeu's strong stance against illegal immigration and his efforts to curb drug and human smuggling with making him one of "America's toughest sheriffs." Maricopa County's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," Joe Arpaio, aint gonna like that.
From the NSA:
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is the third largest in the state of Arizona with over 700 employees. Under Sheriff Babeu's direction, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office has acquired both innovative equipment and technology through $7,000,000 in grant funding. Citizens of Pinal County used to have to wait up to 15 minutes for a deputy to respond, the response time has now been cut in half.
Sheriff Babeu is a strong proponent of regional efforts to improve public safety. The approach has allowed all agencies within Pinal County to pool their resources and work together, saving money and improving service. Thanks to Sheriff Babeu, Pinal County now has a Regional SWAT, Traffic and Narcotics Task Force.
Sheriff Babeu has also organized a "Citizens on Patrol" program and a "Citizen Alert Network" which has brought the community forward and more active with the Sheriff's Office.
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Babeu will accept the Ferris E. Lucas Award at the group's June 19, conference in St. Louis, Missouri.