Arizona Governor & County Sheriffs Agree To Secure Border

Governor Ducey And Arizona County Sheriffs Agree On Efforts To Secure The Border

PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) Governor Doug Ducey and county sheriffs from across Arizona agree on efforts to urge the state’s congressional delegation to join the fight to secure Arizona’s southern border.

“We want to work with you on this,”   Governor Ducey said to the 11 sheriffs who participated in an hour-long discussion on Tuesday afternoon.  “Let’s get their attention.”

The sheriffs immediately agreed. Moments after the meeting ended, the sheriffs voted unanimously to support draft federal legislation prepared by the Governor’s Office that outlines a series of specific steps aimed at bolstering border security in Arizona and across the country.

“It’s not just an Arizona problem,”  said Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.  “It’s an America problem.”

In his 2022 State of the State Address on Monday, Governor Ducey called on U.S. Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, and the state’s representatives in the U.S. House, to work with Arizona to end the public safety and humanitarian crisis at the border.

“In Arizona, we will secure our border.  We will protect public safety.  We will not back down,”  said Governor Ducey in remarks kicking off the legislative session.  “We will fight this fight until Washington, D.C. finally acts.”

Governor Ducey and the sheriffs discussed a variety of issues facing Arizona’s counties, including recruiting and retaining qualified personnel.  But border security issues loomed large.

Sheriff Lamb noted that his deputies seized more than 1.2 million fentanyl pills last year.  “We had none in 2019,” he said.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said that illegal smuggling operations involving human trafficking and lethal narcotics have strained resources and imposed a tremendous financial burden on his small rural county.

“It’s hurting us,” Sheriff Dannels said.

Governor Ducey thanked the sheriffs for their leadership and willingness to step up and do what’s necessary to protect Arizona.

“You have been a force multiplier to secure the border,”  the Governor said.  “As the son of a cop, I grew up looking at people who wear uniforms like yours as heroes.”

The Governor also spoke about the priority he places on the rule of law, noting how shocked he is by efforts in some cities to defund the police.  “Defunding the police is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard,” he said.

In addition to Sheriffs Lamb and Dannels, the Governor was joined by Apache County Sheriff Joe Dedman, Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll, Gila County Sheriff Adam Shepherd, Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred, Greenlee County Sheriff Tim Sumner, La Paz County Sheriff William Ponce, Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster, Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse and Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes.