SIERRA VISTA, Arizona — Sheriffs from along the border and western states have gathered here to present a unified front on the many issues affecting the border-area law enforcement community. The sentiments shared by the many speakers at the conference deal with the apparent lack of support from the federal government on border security issues, a lack of regard for law enforcement in general, and the constant danger presented by Mexican drug cartels.
“We are facing opposition from many different sides,” said Danny Glick, the President of the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Glick was openly vocal about the silence by the White House after the many attacks on law enforcement and the federal government’s refusal to acknowledge the problem.
“We are under assault and this administration refuses to do something about it,” he said. “All we ask for is for a seat at the table so they can understand where we are coming from.”
Another hot topic in the conference was the ever present drug cartel activity where armed traffickers continue to push their drug loads through private ranches and lands.
“What happens on the border doesn’t just stay here,” said Leon Wilmot the Chairman of the Arizona Border Sheriffs’ Association. “Washington needs to pay attention, enforce the law and stop putting things on our backs.”
Arizona State Senator Gail Griffin spoke with the sheriffs about her own personal experience with drug cartel smugglers.
At her home on the border, Griffin said she woke up one morning to a cartel gunman sporting an AK-47 who was leading a pack of smugglers through her property. The smugglers were each carrying a 50 to 60 pound drug bundle and were further guarded by a second gunman who also carried an assault rifle.
Since that day Griffin now always has her cell phone, a flash light and her .38 handgun.
“That’s a heck of a way to live,” she said.
The sheriffs’ conference is expected to continue throughout this week.