Sheriff Paul Penzone is working to restore accountability and move Maricopa County forward. Sign up to receive the latest news and information about the Sheriff’s work to tackle the important issues facing our community.
As Sheriff of the fourth largest county in America, Sheriff Penzone oversees an annual budget of nearly $400 million dollars. Through effective management, Sheriff Penzone created a $20 million budget surplus his first year alone, returning $9 million to Maricopa County and reinvested the rest into MCSO – hiring, purchasing much needed safety equipment for deputies and detention officers, and providing long overdue raises to those who sacrifice everything for our community. The Sheriff has continued to come under budget each year of his term for a total savings of nearly $40 million dollars.
Prioritized Child Safety
Sheriff Penzone created an internal auditing system to ensure that all crimes against children are thoroughly investigated. He also worked with experts from across the country to organize the first ever statewide school safety forum to review best practices to keep our children safe.
Established the Fugitive Apprehension Tactical Enforcement Unit
When Sheriff Penzone took office, he found a backlog of thousands of unserved felony warrants from the Arpaio/Sheridan administration. That’s why he created the Fugitive Apprehension Tactical Enforcement (FATE) Unit that works in partnership with the FBI to target and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives in our county. To date, they have made over 600 arrests of wanted felons.
Seized nearly $50 Million in Illegal Drugs
Under Sheriff Penzone’s leadership, the MCSO has seized nearly $50 million in illegal drugs like heroin, meth and fentanyl, making our communities safer.
Created Programs to Reduce Drug Abuse & Recidivism through the MOSAIC Program
Housed where Tent City used to be, this seven-week program works to break the incarceration cycle by helping medium to high risk inmates with addiction process past trauma and gives them skills to replace substances both in and out of our jails. The MOSAIC program is currently showing a 20% reduction in recidivism among participants having already completed the program. MOSAIC helps lower the crime rate, saves money in detention housing, and transforms inmates into productive citizens who go on to build stronger communities.
Rebuilt Trust through Community Outreach
Sheriff Penzone has been committed to rebuilding relationships and has engaged in robust community outreach to better understand concerns and needs as well as to educate about the MCSO and its practices. Under his leadership, the MCSO Community Outreach Division has hosted and attended hundreds of community events across the County, many of which are dedicated to dialogue with Hispanic communities. This year, MCSO won a national award for their partnership with the Guadalupe Boxing Gym. This partnership is a collaborative program between the Agency and the Town of Guadalupe community members targeting at-risk youth focusing on sportsmanship, fair play, and physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. In addition, The MCSO Pathways to Justice program engages young adults from predominantly minority and low-income areas to learn more about careers in public safety, while also building relationships and trust. Sheriff Penzone initiated several community advisory boards that provide guidance and feedback, which include the Hispanic Advisory Board, the African American Advisory Board and a LGBTQ Advisory Board. The MCSO also holds Community Academies several times a year, with every other academy for first language Spanish residents, with the goal of fostering a greater partnership with the community.
Fighting Human Trafficking
Sheriff Penzone partnered with experts like the McCain Institute to help identify victims of human trafficking in the jails to open doors for victims and close doors on perpetrators. The McCain Institute has conducted extensive training with command staff to detention officers on how to identify a victim of human trafficking. Though this is a new partnership, it has enabled the MCSO to identify dozens of victims of human trafficking and gotten them the resources they need.
Complied with Federal Court Orders at Unprecedented Rate
Under Sheriff Penzone’s leadership, the MCSO has achieved unprecedented compliance with federal court orders in pursuit of ending the burdensome costs to taxpayers left behind from the previous administration and restoring trust with the community. Compliance has gone from below 50% in most categories to over 90% in all but 1 since Sheriff Penzone took office.
Closed Tent City
When Sheriff Penzone took office he conducted a thorough review of Tent City in conjunction with business and community leaders. The reviews found the facility was ineffective, inefficient and irresponsible, therefore closing Tent City was the right thing to do. Tent City was a stain on Maricopa County and Arizona’s reputation for decades. More importantly, the tents had no impact on public safety. The closure of Tent City was vital to stabilizing the office and its operations. It wasn’t cost efficient, it wasn’t tough on criminals, and it did not provide a safe environment for MCSO employees. Closing Tent City and moving inmates to other detention provided savings to pay for additional positions, equipment and resources needed to promote a safer jail system.
Revitalizing the Maricopa Animal Safe Haven Unit
Penzone is spearheading a groundbreaking initiative to revitalize the Maricopa Animal Safe Haven (MASH) Unit to build a new state-of-the-art center to house animals and inmate programs. This effort is being done through private and philanthropic dollars at no cost to the taxpayers.
Reduced the lawsuits that were commonplace in the previous administration to stop the unacceptable waste of taxpayer dollars.