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  Arpaio, Joseph M. "Joe"
NameJoseph M. "Joe" Arpaio
Phoenix, Arizona , United States
Born June 14, 1932
Died Still Living (83 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedHomegrown Democrat
Oct 07, 2011 02:23am
Tags Reactionary -
InfoYou probably know him as "America's Toughest Sheriff", a name given to him by the media years ago. It's a name he certainly has earned as the head of the nation's fourth largest Sheriff's Office. But even before he became Sheriff in 1993, Joe Arpaio was one tough law man.
After serving in the Army for three years from 1950 to 1953, Arpaio went on to build a federal law enforcement career and a reputation for fighting drug trafficking around the world.

From the United States to Mexico to Turkey to the Middle East to Central and South America, Arpaio was an expert in undercover work establishing a stellar record of infiltrating drug organizations and arresting drug offenders.

His expertise led him to management positions with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States and around the world. He concluded his remarkable career as head of the DEA for Arizona.

In 1992, building on his expertise as a former police officer in Washington D.C. and Las Vegas, and as a top federal law enforcement official, Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County.

He won the election in 1992. Four years later, in 1996, after his policies had earned him unprecedented praise and an 85% public approval rating, no one even ran against him when he sought a second term as Sheriff.

After 42 years of law enforcement experience, Arpaio's strength is in his ability to know what the public wants. "As Sheriff, I serve the public. The public is my boss", are statements often made by Sheriff Arpaio.

And in serving the public, Arpaio has done many unique things as Sheriff.

On August 3, 1993, he started the nation's largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Over 2000 convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It is a remarkable success story and has garnered the attention of government officials and media worldwide.

The same is true for his chain gangs which work six days a week contributing thousands of dollars of free labor to the community. The male chain gang and the world's first ever female chain gang clean streets, paint over graffiti, and bury the indigent in the county cemetery.

Equally impressive are the Sheriff's get tough policies. Arpaio doesn't believe in coddling criminals, frequently saying that jails should not be country clubs. He banned smoking, coffee, pornographic magazines, movies and unrestricted television in all jails. He has the cheapest meals in the country too. The average inmate meal costs under 20 cents.

Arpaio also has launched innovative rehabilitation programs like "Hard Knocks High ", the only accredited high school in an American jail. His ALPHA program teaches inmates to turn away from drugs. It is one of his proudest accomplishments. A high percentage of ALPHA graduates leave his jail clean and sober and rarely, if ever, return to incarceration.

As for his deputies, Arpaio has increased salaries, encouraged education by providing incentive pay, improved equipment and the fleet, and has elevated this office to a full-service, state-of-the-art world renowned law enforcement agency.

Also under Arpaio, the posse has grown to 3200 members, the nation's largest volunteer posse. These men and women, always are a great help to deputies, help in search and rescue and other traditional police work as well as in special operations like round-ups of deadbeat parents, fighting prostitution in the valley's so-called red light district, and patrolling malls and shops during holidays. The posse's contribution is invaluable and essentially free to taxpayers.

Arpaio and his wife, Ava, have been married 47 years. They have two children and three grandchildren who also reside in the Phoenix area.

Arpaio says his plans include several more years as the head of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.


DateFirmApproveDisapproveDon't Know
10/22/2009-10/25/2009 Walter Cronkite School of Journalism 61.00% ( 0.0) 35.00% ( 0.0) 4.00% ( 0.0)
11/15/2007-11/18/2007 Arizona State University 61.00% ( 20.0) 35.00% ( 18.0) 4.00% ( 2.0)
01/18/2001-01/21/2001 Arizona State University 81.00% ( 5.0) 17.00% ( 3.0) 2.00% ( 2.0)
11/18/1999-11/20/1999 Arizona State University 76.00% ( 8.0) 20.00% ( 4.0) 4.00% ( 4.0)
04/17/1997-04/20/1997 Arizona State University 84.00% ( 0.0) 16.00% ( 0.0) 0.00% ( 0.0)

Title Purchase Contributor
America's Toughest Sheriff: How We Can Win the War Against Crime  Purchase Thomas Walker 

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
May 30, 2013 01:00pm News Recall effort against Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio fails  Article Scott³ 
May 24, 2013 10:05pm Legal Ruling Judge rules against 'America's toughest sheriff' in racial profiling lawsuit  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Apr 15, 2013 08:00am News Did Someone Try to Blow Up Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio?  Article Scott³ 
Feb 09, 2013 03:30pm News Steven Seagal Training Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Posse on School Security  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Dec 28, 2012 12:00pm Announcement Sheriff Joe To Send Armed Posse To Guard Maricopa County Schools  Article RP 
Sep 10, 2012 03:05pm Event Arizona’s Birtherpalooza Canceled Over Low Ticket Sales  Article RP 

Sun Nov 29 01:11:57 +0000 2015 - And the parade begins. Love being invited to the Tempe Light Parade. https://t.co/zz6dtMs1SQ

Sun Nov 29 00:30:50 +0000 2015 - Hope to see all of you at the Tempe Light Parade. It begins @ 6pm

Fri Nov 27 04:49:56 +0000 2015 - Car vs Ped @ 101st place & university. Ped flown to hospital with serious injuries https://t.co/EyI3Zl3TcM

Thu Nov 26 23:16:29 +0000 2015 - Just arrived at the Buffalo Chip Saloon to look at the damage. My arson investigators will work diligently to determine the cause

Thu Nov 26 16:07:24 +0000 2015 - Good to see the crowds this morning. Happy Thanksgiving everyone https://t.co/wfueYAXZuD

Thu Nov 26 15:31:15 +0000 2015 - Getting ready for the annual Fountain Hills Thanksgiving parade https://t.co/qh4ADP4JFS

Wed Nov 25 20:19:54 +0000 2015 - I delivered aThanksgiving meal but this 92 year old WWII Navy Pilot is a true hero along with all our Vets out there https://t.co/nnPjymljec

Wed Nov 25 19:40:08 +0000 2015 - I surprised a 92 year old Sun City resident with a Thanksgiving meal, always an honor to serve our community. https://t.co/WyusFf6IjY

Wed Nov 25 19:17:50 +0000 2015 - Great to see my deputies ready to deliver over 500 Thanksgiving meals today, I will deliver some myself. https://t.co/WN40DVFg3W

Tue Nov 24 19:23:59 +0000 2015 - My 22nd year running Mall Patrol takes on added urgency this holiday season with raised terror threat.

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