Like a stiff, stuffed and somewhat corpulent Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, one can easily imagine Arizona sheriff Clarence Dupnik informing ABC producers that he thought he was ready for his close-up.
Objective observers looking in on this low-level political functionary, perhaps with dreams of greater things at the end of an otherwise pedestrian political career, might disagree.
“The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information,” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said today. “[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.”
With profane Constitutional ignorance, how dare anyone fuel anger, or resentment of big government, or, heaven forbid, an elected official, Dupnik, or perhaps that should read Dupe-nik, stands on end the Constitution and the same First Amendment recently read by tragic shooting victim and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on the floor of the House of Representatives. Giffords even posted the short video on her Facebook page.
A look at Dupnik’s official, public bought and paid for website reads more like someone auditioning for a TV talking head gig, or job in Washington, than it does a law enforcement official. But then, what responsible, professional law enforcement official would seize upon every media opportunity afforded him to discuss, in intimate detail, such a horrific crime still under investigation and obviously headed for the courts? The answer is none.
If it’s possible to any more compound the tragedy of an obviously deranged mass murderer, Jared Lee Loughner, seemingly incapable of rational and consistent political thought in line with any one ideology, it’s that a clueless and seemingly worthless political hack like Clarence Dupnik appears so intent on milking the tragedy for every despicable drop of public relations fodder it’s worth to him. As an elected official, Dupnik shouldn’t be fetting himself, and his ignorance, Constitutional and otherwise, in the media, he should be rebuked, if not recalled, as an incompetent clown and a ghoul willing to trade on the deaths of so many innocent victims for his own little 15 minutes of distasteful infamy.
Born on January 11, 1936, in Helena, Texas, he was raised in Bisbee, Arizona, and later attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. He graduated from Keeler Institute in Chicago, the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, and the Urban Affairs Executive Institute at M.I.T. He joined the Tucson Police Department in 1958, and subsequently was promoted through the ranks from Patrol Officer to Major in charge of Field Operations. He left TPD in 1977 to accept the position of Chief Deputy with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, a job he held until his appointment as Sheriff by the Pima County Board of Supervisors 2 years later.
Sheriff Dupnik’s law enforcement experience in policing, supervision, and management is thorough. He has been an effective police officer, supervisor, and manager for many years. As Sheriff, he oversees a smooth-running department of 1,513 employees and an $118 million budget.