On June 9, Breitbart News attended a ceremony for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in which he was honored for twenty-two and a half years as sheriff.
That makes Arpaio the longest-serving sheriff in the history of the county.
In remarks explaining the changes he brought to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) since being elected in 1992 and taking the helm in January 1993, various speakers talked about Arpaio’s work. And, ironically, it was not his renowned law enforcement drive that was highlighted; rather, it was who he is as a person and the things he does behind the scenes for the good of those with whom he is in contact—including those incarcerated.
As a person, Arpaio is a husband, father, and grandfather. He is a U.S. Army veteran, a retired police officer, and a 31-year veteran federal narcotics officer. Breitbart News previously reported that he was the highest-ranking drug officer for a time in Texas, for another time in Arizona, and for yet another stretch of time in Mexico City.
Behind the scenes, Arpaio has established a drug treatment program in the Maricopa County Jail System (MCJS). With this system in place, persons in the MCJS on drug-related charges can be helped and hopefully defeat their addiction and take a new direction in life once released.
He also created an all-volunteer posse to help with search and rescue efforts and related matters. This posse is comprised of more than 2,000 citizens who believe in Arpaio’s approach and have given their time to go where and when Arpaio needs them.
Arpaio reflected on these things as he stood behind the podium and briefly recounted the circuitous path that led him to be the longest-serving Sheriff in Maricopa County history. He talked of his birth in Springfield, Massachusetts, and of his father giving him 10 cents when he was 10 years old, so he could walk two miles “to the movie house.”
He grinned and said:
I always loved the movie house, because I saw all the westerns. I really liked a cowboy movie and that was my first contact with a sheriff. I never realized that in 1992, I would become sheriff; that I would be a sheriff. And to me it is a great honor.
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