What Joe Arpaio's PR Activity Has Been Displacing

While Sheriff Joe was pursuing a vendetta against County officials, chasing down Mexicans with broken tail lights, and raiding dry cleaners demanding immigration papers, over 400 sexual assaults were going under-investigated.  According to the article, this was not an accident -- there was a real prioritization that put few resources in the special victims unit and put more and better staff on things like counter-terrorism (Phoenix being a well-known hotbed of terrorist activity).

The understaffing in the special-victims unit was due in part to the Sheriff's Office's priorities -- and the special-victims unit was not one of them, according to a half-dozen current and former sheriff's employees.

Despite a Maricopa County hiring freeze prompted by the faltering economy, the Sheriff's Office from 2005 through mid-2008 was hiring 45 to 50 new deputies annually and tackling initiatives that included counterterrorism and homeland-security enhancements. The office also embraced immigration enforcement, sending 60 deputies and 100 detention officers through a federal immigration-training program and creating a human-smuggling unit with at least 15 dedicated deputies.

Staffing in the special-victims unit remained unchanged during those years: four detectives....

The Sheriff's Office was allocated more than $600,000 in fiscal 2007 for six full-time positions for "investigating cases involving sexual abuse, domestic violence, abuse and child abuse." The Sheriff's Office now says the six new positions were to focus solely on child-abuse cases. In any event, they cannot say where those deputies went to work.

"We don't know," Chief Deputy Sheridan said. "We've looked, and we can't find any of those position numbers which were allocated for child-abuse cases."

This is due in part to the acknowledged misallocation of roughly $100 million in agency funds that had patrol deputies being paid out of an account designated for detention officers.

The department was almost certainly spending more on Joe Arpaio's PR than it was on the special victims unit.  Dozens of cases showed no investigation at all, and hundreds showed that no contact had been made either with the victim or the suspect.   Piles of case files were found random file cabinets and even one officer's garage.


  1. John O.:

    What is there to expect from a man who is more interested in developing a political racket and taking that to the next step by building a political machine? I find this man to be a disaster for not just Phoenix/Maricopa County, but for the State of Arizona. Should his ways become entrenched as a political machine, Phoenix and Arizona will over time look allot like Chicago and Illinois. Does the Arizona Republican Party care? No because they receive immediate political benefit. Does the Arizona Democratic Party care? No because they have plans to hijack it and I'd put money on them doing so. His defenders may not be convinced until the bitter end when it is glaringly obvious they were pawns for a little bit of political fame and power as they find themselves trampled by those who replaced Sheriff Arpaio. The people of Arizona will reap what they sow by allowing even minor corruption to go unabated.

  2. fredrick.:

    While I admit Joe is not perfect, I think the irrational hate Warren has for Joe is clouding his judgement, and he is hunting / cherry picking for any flaw in the Sheriff department - even though every Sheriff department has some area where they are a bit weak.

  3. mahtso:

    Based on the information available, the Sheriff's Office was deficient here. My (rhetorical) question is: would that have happened if news reporters and bloggers had been monitoring what the Office was doing (or not doing) rather than trying to prove that the Sheriff is a racist?

  4. Che is dead:

    "PHOENIX — The United States attorney’s office announced on Friday that it had closed an investigation over abuse-of-power allegations against Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, some of his current and former employees, and the former Maricopa County attorney, concluding that none of them had done anything wrong."


    Coyote is all noise about the abuses of state authority unless, of course, that authority is being abused to go after someone he hates.

    The New York Times editorial board has cast the sheriff as a valiant warrior fighting against an epidemic of violence that makes his beloved Pima County the epicenter of "the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country."... Amy Goodman, from her headquarters in the trendy Chelsea section of Manahttan, contrasts the quality of law enforcement offered by the "humanity" of Democrat Dupnik with the head of law enforcement of neighboring Maricopa County, where the "notorious" Sherif Joe Arpaio "jails people" -- even, much to the dismay of Attorney Geaneral Eric Holder, illegal immigrants -- under "harsh conditions."

    But a trip to the Uniform Crime Reports database of the FBI tells a different story. Forget the boosterish statistics reported by Dupnik on his taxpayer-financed website. Forget the media applause. They bear as much relation to reality -- crime on the ground -- as the deliberately altered statistics offered by climate researchers to prove global warming. Although the county has had reporting problems (the Sheriff is a remarkably sloppy administrator), the FBI has enough data to allow us to come to this conclusion: The citizens of Pima County are up to their necks in crime, especially when compared to neighboring Maricopa County. Thirty years of hyper-partisan Democrat-led law enforcement have resulted in the highest crime rates in Arizona. The citizen who lives in Pima County, compared to media-reviled Joe Arpaio's territory just next door, will have almost three times the chance of being murdered; is more than seven times as likely to be raped; is more than six times as likely to be assaulted; and more than seven times as likely to have experienced a property crime such as burglary, arson or car theft.


    I don't think that Coyote has ever compained about Dupnik's incompetence. Go figure.

  5. Dave Boz:

    Dupnik is an incompetent sheriff. Does that make Arpaio a good sheriff? Does that make citizens of Maricopa County safer? If I find an example of an even worse law enforcement officer somewhere in Arizona, does that make Dupnik a good sheriff? Does that make the citizens of Pima County safer? If I prove that sheriffs in Zimbabwe are even more incompentent that Dupnik or Arpaio, will that make me the safest person on the planet? Pointing fingers and exclaiming "The other guy is even worse!" is what we call negative benchmarking. It is often used by poorly run businesses to excuse their shitty levels of customer service. It is almost always used by businesses that are about to go bankrupt. And it is used by politicians and their supporters who wish to pretend they are somehow made good by comparing themselves to the worst.

  6. Dave Boz:

    There is nothing irrational about hate for a sheriff who ignores child rape and molestation. Hate is probably the mildest emotion I can summon for Arpaio and those, like fredrick, who excuse him.

  7. Che is dead:

    "Pointing fingers and exclaiming "The other guy is even worse!" is what we call negative benchmarking."

    My remark was intended to point out that Coyote's obsessive concern for the safety of women seems to end at the border of Arpaio's jurisdiction. Which is why I wrote: "I don't think that Coyote has ever complained about Dupnik's incompetence. Go figure." It is a fact that many of Arpaio's loudest critics are supporters of the leftist Dupnik. This would include those who write at the sources that Coyote frequently links to.

    It seems that you are a little short when it comes to reading apprehension. On the other hand, you build a good straw man.