On Tuesday, in a 4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Elias dissenting, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to disband the “Community Law Enforcement Partnership Commission.” The decision comes after nearly a year of political grandstanding that did nothing but waste taxpayer monies, as well as allow the Commission to use it as a platform to bash law enforcement.
At Tuesday’s meeting, once again, Supervisor Ally Miller made it very clear that the Board of Supervisors should not have had any role in the Office of the Sheriff other than that defined by the Arizona constitution.
|Pima County Supervisors disband the Community Law Enforcement Partnership Commission|
The following statement can – once again – be attributed to Supervisor Miller:
“The other day, one of my fellow Supervisors wrote on Facebook: “Your habits will determine your future, and if you keep doing things a certain way, you’ll be able to predict the results.” As I have predicted from the start, the Board’s effort to politicize public safety would turn the community upside down and create more division and confusion.
“The creation of the Commission has been nothing more than a political stunt intended to diffuse responsibility for funding decisions. It is the Sheriff’s obligation to submit requests for approval to the Board of Supervisors for funding he deems necessary. The approval by the Board has always, in the past, been strictly ministerial. For years, the County accepted Operation Stonegarden funds, however, the Commission weaponized that ministerial function against law enforcement.
“Since the Commission was outed for bashing law enforcement, I have been told that some Commissioners had opted not to attend the meetings because they no longer provide an opportunity to grandstand in opposition to our law enforcement Community.
“One Supervisor’s representative, Gabe Ruiz, a retired and well-respected member of the law enforcement community resigned in disgust due to the treatment he and other commissioners endured during the meetings.
“As County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry noted in a recent memo, Sheriff Napier has shown incredible willingness to work with the Commission at the same time Commissioners have been unwilling to work with him.
“Sheriff Napier has announced he will form a Commission and it should involve the Sheriff’s Office only. I personally hear from constituents daily. I listen carefully and give serious consideration to their suggestions and attention to their concerns. I do not need commissioners, subject to political theater, to form my position on the funding of the Sheriff’s Office. I trust the Sheriff, elected by a majority of Pima County voters, to request only funding that is provided ethically and budgeted only as necessary.
The Supervisors have accepted more than $16 million in Stonegarden and HIDTA grant funds over the past 10 years.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created the program to “form partnerships with local sheriffs, highway patrol, and city and tribal police in 2003-2004.
In 2009, Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano testified before a congressional committee in praise of the program.
The Secretary said the funding was “critical.” Secretary Napolitano said she was “proud to announce that the funding provides additional flexibility to ensure that our first responders are equipped with the resources they need to confront the complex and dynamic challenges that exist along our borders.”