|Sheriff Joe aficionados lined up
outside Play It Again Sports at 34th Street and Thomas Road, Phoenix
to get their autographed bobble head doll. 11-01.
Arpaio, Sheriff Joe
(Joseph M. Arpaio, 1932- ) Maricopa
Lives in Fountain Hills
Joseph Arpaio was elected sheriff of Maricopa County in 1992.
Things haven't been the same in the county jail since. A champion of
self promotion, the sheriff quickly became known as as
|Sheriff Joe, out of uniform for the
unofficial appearance, signs his bobble head look-alike. 11-01
"America's toughest sheriff."
|The Sheriff Joe bobble head doll.
The crowning achievement of
the publicity machine came at the close of 2001. Imagine 5,000
Sheriff Joe look-alikes, heads a bobbing on mantles all across the valley.
On December 15, the official Sheriff Joe Arpaio bobble head doll went on
sale. The sheriff accommodated the throngs of doll collectors and
autographed the purchases.
Some highlights of Sheriff Joe's tenure:
- 1993: On August 6, Sheriff Joe bans Playboy and other
"sexually explicit materials" from the jails.
- 1993: Sheriff Joe places 1,200 men in Korean War surplus Army
tents to save money and relieve jail overcrowding.
- 1995: To symbolize that he will always be room for more
criminals, Sheriff Joe has a "vacancy" sign installed at the
Maricopa County tent-city jail. When the sign is destroyed in a
riot in November of the following year, the sheriff has a new sign
- 1995: Tents to hold 200 women prisoners are installed.
- 1995: Pretrial detainee Jonathan D. Mauro sues the sheriff
because he can't have his Playboy magazine.
- 1996: World's first female chain gang is instituted at
Estrella Jail on September 19.
- 1996: Sheriff Joe appears nationally on Bill Maher's Politically
Incorrect comedy/satire show, then on the Comedy Channel.
|Sheriff Joe's female chain gang
clean up the Warner-Elliott Loup in Ahwatukee. 7-03
- 1996: Sheriff Joe personally deputizes con man David Pecard.
It soon appears that something is amiss when the new deputy promises
to shorten a female inmate's sentence then fondles her in an empty
office. Pecard is charged on 12 felony counts and faces a
court-martial for deserting the United States army seven times under
- 1997: Sheriff Joe makes his second appearance on Bill Maher's Politically
Incorrect, but this time to a larger audience since the show has
moved to ABC.
- 1997: U.S. Justice Department sues Sheriff Joe alleging
excessive use of force by guards. The sheriff settles the suit
by promising to stop hog-tying inmates.
- 1998: Room for incarcerated teens are added in what Sheriff
Joe calls his "pup tents."
- 1998: America's first full-time jail high school is
instituted, with 30 of the jail's 250 teenage inmates attending.
- 1999: The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Sheriff Joe, saying
that he can ban Playboy and other "sexually explicit
materials" from the jail.
- 2001: Following the 9-11 terrorist attack, Sheriff Joe orders
American flags painted in 2,000 cells. As of July, 2002, 151
inmates had been punished for defacing them.
- 2001 - December 15: Sheriff Joe bobble head dolls go on sale,
just in time for the Christmas rush.
- 2004 - July 1 to 11: Country singer and longtime Phoenix
resident Glenn Campbell serves 10 days in Sheriff Joe's jail...sort
of. Campbell received national attention when he was arrested
for DUI on November 24, 2003 after causing a minor traffic accident
and leaving the scene. He had a 0.20 blood-alcohol level when he
was arrested, far above Arizona's legal limit of 0.08. The Phoenix
New Times reported that rather than placing Campbell behind bars
or in tent city, Sheriff Joe put him up in the Mesa Hilton for the
period of his sentence. Before his release, Campbell gave a free 30
minute concert for about 1,000 inmates at Joe's tent city jail.
- 2004 - July: Maricopa County prosecutors announce that they
will not prosecute 60 suspected prostitutes and their tricks arrested
by some 400 sheriff's deputies in a 2 month sting operation in late
2003. The problem with the arrests was that the undercover
deputies removed their clothing and engage in sex acts on videotape.
An expert on the subject of prostitution arrests explained that if the
officers that go that far to get the arrest, they have engaged in
prostitution and have themselves committed a crime. TV stations
could not wait to get the videos on the evening news.
|On a happier occasion Sheriff
Joe's SWAT tank escorted Diamondback players in the parade
celebrating their 2001 World Series
victory over the New York Yankees. 11-01
- 2004 - July 23: In executing a misdemeanor arrest warrant on
26 year old Eric Kush for failure to appear in Tempe Traffic Court,
Sheriff Arpaio's SWAT team burned down a $250,000 home and crushed a
2001 Mitsubishi Mirage with their SWAT tank. The Sheriff's SWAT
team interrupted a quiet summer morning in the gated Fairway Hills
community in the Ahwatukee Foothills when they surrounded the rented
house in the 16800 block of South Cyan Court which Kush shared with
three other residents. The Sheriff's arsenal included a SWAT
tank which prior to that occasion had received its heaviest use
promoting the department in valley parades. Shortly after noon,
the SWAT team entered the home and escorted a young woman and a child
from the property, but Kush barricaded himself on the second floor.
Deputies launched gas canisters filling the home with a white gas, but
Kush remained in hiding. As the white gas turned to black smoke
deputies discovered that the second floor was on fire. They
warned Kush who then surrendered as the home was engulfed in flames.
Fearing that their armed SWAT tank might become a casualty of the
fire, deputies moved the vehicle to safety, parking it on an incline.
Unfortunately, the tank's electric brakes disengaged when the engine
was turned off allowing it to roll into and almost over the much
smaller Mitsubishi Mirage. The Mirage was crushed. The
$250,000 home was declared a total loss. Kush posted a $1,000
bond and was released from jail the next day.