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Sheriff Joe Arpaio vs. The Truth
Sheriff Joe Arpaio takes credit for many things where the credit is not his to take. It is time for some truth about the sheriff.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Sheriff claims he has a .50 caliber machine gun for use in shooting down terrorist aircraft or explosive laden tractor-trailer rigs. He also claims the machine gun is the only one owned by a U.S. law enforcement agency.
Truth: The part about the gun being the only one in U.S. law enforcement is probably true and for good reason. Other police chiefs and sheriffs realize that a .50 caliber machine gun is so powerful and so dangerous that it has no place in civilian police work. As to shooting down airplanes and destroying trucks loaded with explosives, how would Sheriff Sheriff Joe Arpaio know which ones to shoot at? It is highly unlikely that the terrorists would notify authorities when and where they are going to strike so the gun could be put in place. Also, Sheriff Sheriff Joe Arpaio stated that, unlike the U.S. Air Force, he needs no presidential authority before shooting down airplanes.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Norberg wrongful death lawsuit was settled out of court for $8.25 million. Sheriff Sheriff Joe Arpaio has repeatedly claimed that this cost the taxpayers nothing since it was paid by an insurance company.
Truth: At the time of the settlement the county had a $1 million "deductible" on its coverage. The taxpayers had to pay the first $1,000,000 on this case and now the deductible has been raised to $5 million.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He arrested Elvis Presley.
Truth: Actually, Sheriff Joe Arpaio sometimes claims to have arrested Elvis and other times he claims to have stopped him for a traffic violation. No police records nor Presley family records have ever surfaced to show any contact between Elvis and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He invented the idea of housing prisoners in tents.
Truth: The Arizona Department of Corrections has used tents for decades. Facilities in other states also used tents before Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He claims credit for feeding green bologna (surplus food) to inmates.
Truth: Jails and prisons here in Arizona and all over the county feed surplus food to inmates and have done so for many years.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He was a Korean War veteran.
Truth: This one is tricky. He was in the Army during the Korean War but he never set foot there. His overseas assignment was in France.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He is the "Toughest Sheriff in America".
Truth: This is a title he gave himself. During his years as sheriff he has not made even one arrest and, on those rare occasions where he was present when an arrest was necessary , others had to do it.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He is the "Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County" and has authority over all police departments and the DPS.
Truth: Another meaningless title. He has no authority over other police agencies.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He broke the famous "French Connection."
Truth: The people really involved in this case never heard of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He was involved in "numerous gun battels" and "weekly shootout" as a DEA agent.
Truth: Virtually no one in the police business believes these claims. There would be something desperately wrong with any police officer that gets into weekly shootout.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Wants people to think he created the posse program.
Truth: The modern day posse program dates back to the 1930s. These volunteer groups provide a wide range of important services to the county including search and rescue, enforcement support, and community crime prevention. Many of the posse members resent being used by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for publicity stunts like the "Van Buren Street Prostitution Patrol."
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Recidivism in the jails was reduced during his time as sheriff.
Truth: Sheriff Joe Arpaio spent $10,000 in taxpayer money to have Arizona State University study recidivism in the jail system. The result showed that there was no change in the rate at which inmates returned to jail. Sheriff Joe Arpaio immediately declared that ASU was wrong.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Prior to his election he declared that the sheriff should be an appointed position like that of chiefs of police and that he would only serve one term.
Truth: Within weeks of his election he "changed his mind" and announced he would run for another term.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: On the two occasions where he spent a night in the tent city jail he claimed that there were no special security arrangements to protect him.
Truth: The Sheriff's Office Tactical Operations Unit (SWAT TEAM) was on-duty, on overtime, all night, guarding him from a nearby building.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He built the tent city jail because of overcrowding in the regular jails.
Truth: To insure there were enough inmates for the much publicized tent city jail he closed an entire floor of the First Avenue Jail.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: He has saved the taxpayers millions of dollars.
Truth: He has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees, lawsuits, attorneys fees, settlements, judgments, photographs of himself, videos of himself, and maintaining his personal public relations staff.