Dicey takes money from county sheriffs to balance the state budget. Il Duce spends that money on a new separate law enforcement agency. What a Doozey. Local control and limited government are good things - except when they are not.
Two county sheriffs, our Pima Sheriff County Chris Nanos and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot wrote an open letter to Ducey calling his Border Strike Force plan "insulting." The story is in this morning's Daily Star. Snippets follow.
County sheriffs are panning plans by Gov. Doug Ducey to use tax dollars to create a border strike force, with one calling the proposal "a little insulting."
In an open letter to the governor signed by Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos and Sheriff Leon Wilmot of Yuma County, the pair said they are glad to see Ducey "taking a proactive stance in Arizona regarding border-related crimes." The pair were writing on behalf of all 15 sheriffs.
But they derided the fact that Ducey’s plan to add up to 200 new officers to the Department of Public Safety comes on the heels of the state, with the governor’s blessing, taking more than $54 million this year alone from counties.
"When the governor takes money from the local communities that’s one thing," Nanos told Capitol Media Services.
"But then to tell the local communities, ‘I’m going to put it into a law-enforcement effort at the state level to dictate to the local levels what kind of services they need for law enforcement,’ that’s a little insulting," Nanos continued.
Nanos commented further on the state making decisions about local enforcement issues.
The sheriff said there may be some sheriffs who want additional boots on the ground to deal with drug and human smuggling across the border. But he stressed that each county’s law enforcement needs are different.
That failure to consult with them, the sheriffs said, is only half the problem. The other half is Ducey creating a new program for DPS when they said the agency does not have the funds to fulfill its current mission.
That's why we call the Guv "Il Duce." He's cut from the same authoritarian mold as the original Duce.
The sheriffs provided examples of how the lack of funding is impacting law enforcement priorities.
"Priority 1 should be to fill those positions to adequately handle their regular patrols on the interstates and highways of Arizona," they wrote to Ducey. They said counties must "fill those gaps," especially in rural areas, when there are no DPS officers working certain shifts.
They also pointed out what they called the DPS’ "aging radio system" that cannot communicate with county and local law enforcement.
And then there’s the crime lab that the sheriffs said is "plagued by long turnaround times for evidence analysis that prohibits timely prosecution of cases."
"Wouldn’t you be better off staffing your jobs that you’re responsible for, get those up and running in an acceptable manner, and then come back and said, ‘Hey, what else can we do?’" Nanos said.
It’s not just the shortcomings of DPS that make the sheriffs wary of expanding the current DPS mission.
Nanos, the Pima County sheriff also questioned how much difference some additional DPS officers along the border would actually make.
"We have 4,000 Border Patrol (officers) down here," he said.
"I think they’ve got a pretty good handle on it,
"I don’t think adding 100 to 200 more bodies is going to make a difference."
But, as we all know, this is not about making a difference. The strike force is about getting Duce reelected.