Friday, October 9, 2009
You Probably Know Him as Americ'as Toughest Sheriff...
A name given to him years ago by the media. It’s a name he certainly has earned as head of the nation’s third largest Sheriff’s Office which employs over 3000 people. But even before he became Sheriff in 1993, Joe Arpaio was one tough lawman. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953, and as a Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, NV, police officer for almost five years, Arpaio went on to build a federal law enforcement career and a reputation for fighting crime and drug trafficking around the world. (All information describing Arpaio has been borrowed from the Arizona Sheriff's website)... so tell me why the following has happened:
U.S. limits Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration powers
By Associated Press
October 06, 2009, 8:55PM
JACQUES BILLEAUD, Associated Press
PHOENIX, Arizona — An Arizona sheriff known for aggressively cracking down on illegal immigration has been stripped of some of his special power to enforce federal immigration law, and he claims the Obama administration is taking away his authority for political reasons.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose office faces racial profiling allegations over crime and immigration sweeps in some heavily Latino areas of metro Phoenix, said officials from Washington won't let him renew a deal that let his deputies make federal immigration arrests.
"Let them all go brag that they took away the sheriff's authority. Let them all do that. That doesn't bother me. I don't have an ego. I will continue doing the same thing," the Republican sheriff said, noting he can still enforce state immigration laws. "What has changed, other than the politics and the perception emanating from Washington?"
More on immigration
The U.S. government, which does most of the nation's immigration enforcement, is changing its rules for allowing local police to enforce more expansive federal immigration laws. Nationally, more than 1,000 local police and jail officers have been granted the power since 2002 to make immigration requests and speed up deportations.
Arpaio has more officers with the special powers than any other local police agency in the country. For more than two years, 100 of his deputies have made immigration arrests and another 60 jail officers have identified inmates who are illegal immigrants.
Even though federal officials declined to let the sheriff keep making immigration arrests, Arpaio last week renewed a deal that will let his jail officers determine inmates' immigration status.
Arpaio said federal officials offered no explanation of why his powers were cut in half.
Vinnie Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which grants the special powers, declined to comment on the curtailment of Arpaio's powers or whether any of the other 62 participating local agencies across the country have been denied renewals.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will make no final decisions on the agreements until Oct. 14, which is the deadline for renewing the agreements. So far, at least three agencies have dropped out of the program.
Giving federal powers to local police helps supplement the small staff of federal agents who enforce immigration laws in the country's interior, said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors tougher immigration enforcement.
He said it's hard to tell whether the limits on Arpaio's authority will extend to other agencies and would hamper the movement for local police to confront illegal immigration.
"I suspect there is some effort there to send a warning to other police departments: Don't get too aggressive with this, because we will yank it out from under you," Mehlman said.
Joan Friedland, immigration policy director for the National Immigration Law Center, said the federal government wasn't making a serious attempt to rein in Arpaio, because his jail officers still have the power to question jailed people about their immigration status.
"All he has to do is get people to the jail, rather than being able to question them about their immigration status on the street," said Friedland, whose group advocates for low-income immigrants.
For his part, Arpaio said he plans to continue cracking down illegal immigration by enforcing state laws that prohibit immigrant smuggling and ban employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
Arpaio said his deputies can still detain suspected illegal immigrants who haven't committed state crimes, as long as his officers call Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to pick them up.
Critics say some of Arpaio's deputies racially profiled people during immigration sweeps. Arpaio maintains that people pulled over in the sweeps were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes.
His office is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures.
A September 2008 audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the relationship between that agency and the sheriff's office was good, but noted that most rank-and-file patrol deputies who had the special training and who weren't part of a special smuggling unit had rarely used their federal powers, because they didn't have the experience — or didn't want to take the time — to process illegal immigrants.
The review also noted that the local FBI office received no complaints against officers with the special training.
Arpaio's approach to immigration has frustrated other public officials.
The mayor of Mesa complained in 2008 that Arpaio didn't warn his city of raids by deputies who were looking for illegal immigrants working at his city's library and City Hall.
And as Arpaio's sweeps began to draw heavy criticism in 2008, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, cut off immigration enforcement dollars to his office.
Napolitano, who as the country's homeland security secretary now oversees the federal government's immigration agencies, had said it wasn't an attempt to change Arpaio's approach to cracking down on illegal immigration. Rather, she said the funding was reallocated to try to clear a backlog of thousands of outstanding felony warrants across the state.
Bullshit! Janet Napolitano has had a long fued with Sheriff Arpaio, and I'm sure she realizes his continued attempts to handle immigration problems will make her look like the dunce she is. The man has a vested interested. Hasn't the news been filled with reports of high murder rates and rapes at the hands of illegal drug cartels that have infiltrated Phoenix? Why wouldn't a Sheriff want to take action, and why would the head of Immigration tie his hands? Another idiot move on the part of an appointed government official.
The following is the remainder of what I highjacked from the Arizona Sheriff's website. Continue to read about this amazing man and it might make you believe we should consider cloning:
He (Joe Arpaio) began his career as a federal narcotics agent, establishing a stellar record in infiltrating drug organizations from Turkey to the Middle East to Mexico, Central, and South America to cities around the U.S. His expertise and success led him to top management positions around the world with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He concluded his remarkable 32-year federal career as head of the DEA for Arizona.
In 1992 Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County. Since then he has been reelected to an unprecedented five 4-year terms. During his tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio has consistently earned extraordinarily high public approval ratings.
With over four decades experience in law enforcement, Arpaio knows what the public wants, “The public is my boss,” he says, “so I serve the public.” He has served them well by establishing several unique programs.
Arpaio has over 10,000 inmates in his jail system. In August, 1993, he started the nation’s largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Two thousand convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It is a remarkable success story that has attracted the attention of government officials, presidential candidates, and media worldwide.
Of equal success and notoriety are his chain gangs, which contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to the community. The male chain gang, and the world’s first-ever female and juvenile chain gangs, clean streets, paint over graffiti, and bury the indigent in the county cemetery.
Also impressive are the Sheriff’s get tough policies. For example, he banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines, and unrestricted TV in all jails. He has the cheapest meals in the U.S. too. The average meal costs about 15 cents, and inmates are fed only twice daily, to cut the labor costs of meal delivery. He even stopped serving them salt and pepper to save tax payers $20,000 a year.
Another program Arpaio is very wellknown for is the pink under shorts he makes all inmates wear. Years ago, when the Sheriff learned that inmates were stealing jailhouse white boxers, Arpaio had all inmate underwear dyed pink for better inventory control. The same is true for the Sheriff’s handcuffs. When they started disappearing, he ordered pink handcuffs as a replacement. And later, when the Sheriff learned the calming, psychological effects of the color pink—sheets, towels, socks— everything inmates wear, except for the old-fashioned black and white striped uniform, were dyed pink.
Arpaio has started another controversial program, the website WWW.MCSO.org, so that all those arrested (about 300 per day) are recorded on the Sheriff’s website as they are booked and processed into jail. Just under a million hits daily come into the website, making it one of the most visible law enforcement sites on the World Wide Web.
In addition to these tough measures, the Sheriff has launched rehabilitative programs like “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school under a Sheriff in an American jail, and ALPHA, an anti-substance-abuse program that has greatly reduced recidivism.
As chief law enforcement officer for the county, Arpaio continues to reduce crime with hard-hitting enforcement methods. His deputies and detectives have solved several high-profile murder cases, including nine child murders. The posse, whose ranks have increased to 3,000 members under Arpaio, is the nation’s largest volunteer posse. Posse men and women help in search and rescue and other traditional police work as well as in special operations like rounding up deadbeat parents, fighting prostitution, patrolling malls during holidays, and investigating animal cruelty complaints. The posse’s contributions are invaluable and essentially free to taxpayers.
No wonder Sheriff Arpaio has been profiled in over 2,000 U.S. and foreign newspapers, magazines, and TV news programs. His leadership and the excellent work of his staff have catapulted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office into the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies.
On a personal note, Sheriff Arpaio and his wife Ava have been married for over 51 years and have two children, both residing in the Phoenix area. The Arpaios have four grandchildren.
Arpaio looks forward to many more years as Sheriff of Maricopa County.
NOTE: Well, not if Janet Napolitano has her way. My question...why isn't Joe Arpaio the head of Immigration instead of Ms. Napolitano? Remember her...she's the one who labeled tea party attendees as "right wing extremists." In my opinion, following Sheriff Joe's assessment... she should be wearing pink undershorts and living in a tent.