Mission Unaccomplished: The Misplaced Priorities of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Mission Unaccomplished: The Misplaced Priorities of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

by Clint Bolick
     
 
The Maricopa County Sheriffs Office is responsible for vitally important law-enforcement functions in one of the largest counties in the nation. It defines its core missions as law-enforcement services, support services, and detention.

MCSO falls seriously short of fulfilling its mission in all three areas. Although MCSO is adept at self-promotion and is an

Overview

The Maricopa County Sheriffs Office is responsible for vitally important law-enforcement functions in one of the largest counties in the nation. It defines its core missions as law-enforcement services, support services, and detention.

MCSO falls seriously short of fulfilling its mission in all three areas. Although MCSO is adept at self-promotion and is an unquestionably tough law-enforcement agency, under its watch violent crime rates recently have soared, both in absolute terms and relative to other jurisdictions. It has diverted resources away from basic law-enforcement functions to highly publicized immigration sweeps, which are ineffective in policing illegal immigration and in reducing crime generally, and to extensive trips by MCSO officials to Honduras for purposes that are nebulous at best. Profligate spending on those diversions helped produce a financial crisis in late 2007 that forced MCSO to curtail or reduce important law-enforcement functions.

In terms of support services, MCSO has allowed a huge backlog of outstanding warrants to accumulate, and has seriously disadvantaged local police departments by closing satellite booking facilities. MCSOs detention facilities are subject to costly lawsuits for excessive use of force and inadequate medical services. Compounding the substantive problems are chronically poor record-keeping and reporting of statistics, coupled with resistance to public disclosure.

Our focus in this paper is exclusively on effective law-enforcement. We find that MCSOs effectiveness has been compromised for the past several years by misplaced priorities that have diverted it from its mission. We recommend several reforms that will increase the effectiveness of MCSO specifically as well as law-enforcement agencies throughout Arizona.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012768711
Publisher:
Goldwater Institute
Publication date:
12/02/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
128 KB

Meet the Author

Clint Bolick serves as director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation in Phoenix.

A legal pioneer, Bolick has argued and won cases in the United States Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, and state and federal courts from coast to coast. He has won landmark precedents defending school choice, freedom of enterprise, and private property rights and challenging corporate subsidies and racial classifications.

Before joining the Goldwater Institute in 2007, Bolick was co-founder of the Institute for Justice and later served as president of the Alliance for School Choice.

Bolick helped author the Health Care Freedom Act and the Save Our Secret Ballot amendment, which were added to the Arizona Constitution in 2010 and adopted in several other states. He also has assisted policy activists in several states to establish litigation centers based on the Goldwater Institute model.

In 2003, American Lawyer recognized Bolick as one of three lawyers of the year for his successful defense of school choice programs, culminating in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2009, Legal Times named Bolick one of the “90 Greatest D.C. Lawyers in the Past 30 Years.” Bolick received one of the freedom movement’s most prestigious awards, the Bradley Prize, in 2006 for advancing the values of democratic capitalism.

Bolick has authored several books, most recently Death Grip: Loosening the Law’s Stranglehold Over Economic Liberty (2011) and David’s Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary (2007). In addition to his work at the Goldwater Institute, Bolick serves as a research fellow with the Hoover Institution.

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