Phoenix Arizona Election Questionnaire for Maricopa County Sheriff, Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone
Specific office running for (include district):
Maricopa County Sheriff
Occupation/Main source(s) of income:
Retired Phoenix Police Sergeant
Previous occupations:

Phoenix Police Department 1988-2009, retired as Sergeant; 2009-2010 Vice President of ChildHelp; 2010-2012, Chief Operating Officer NotMyKid.

Date of Birth

Attended Glendale Community College/ Northern Arizona University


Wife, Veronica; two sons

How long have you lived in Arizona?
35 years
What is your party registration and how long have your been registered as a member of that party?
Democrat; changed from Independent registration in Jan. 2012
Previous public offices you’ve sought/held:

2012 Maricopa Sheriff

Civic organizations in which you’ve been active?

100 Club, Hospice of the Valley, Arizona Humane Society, ChildHelp, NotMyKid, St. Vincent De Paul, Friends of the Arizona Cancer Center, Silent Witness, DEA Survivors Benefit Fund

What is the top goal you hope to accomplish during the first 100 days of your term?
It won’t take me 100 days to change the focus of the Sheriff’s Office from politically-charged, self-serving agendas to fundamental public safety and law enforcement. That will happen on Day 1. The public deserves it. The deputies and detention officers are waiting for it. And it is the single most effective way to restore integrity, fiscal responsibility and transparency to the office.
What, if any, new strategies would you pursue to deal with the problem of illegal immigration?
The most effective strategy is to redirect attention to the criminal organizations that are responsible for, and profiting on illegal immigration. Focus should be directed to the groups engaged in human trafficking, drug smuggling and human slavery. Law enforcement professionals have the skills, tools and resources to impact criminal behavior at the highest levels, which will have the greatest positive impact on public safety
Did you support SB 1070, why or why not?
I did not support 1070. Any legislation that directly impacts law enforcement’s ability to do its job should require input from the law enforcement community itself. SB1070 was written in a vacuum. Politics have no place in law enforcement. And I am committed to returning the office to one that is focused on public safety, not publicity.
Would you pursue crime sweeps in Maricopa County towns and cities even if police officials in those cities do not request your assistance? Why or why not?
Currently there are 30,000 unserved warrants in Maricopa County. I will dedicate resources to apprehend criminals. We will communicate and cooperate with other agencies to make Maricopa County the safest community in America.
What strategies would you pursue during the next four years to help ensure that inmates released from Maricopa County Jail do not return?
I will run a safe, effective and efficient jail system where inmates will receive the mental health and addiction treatment required by law. The most effective way to reduce our inmate population is via comprehensive youth outreach, drug-prevention and crime-prevention programs that improve public safety and keep people out of jail in the first place. I have spent more than two decades in the Valley fostering these kinds of programs and partnerships.
If you could go to the Legislature next year and enact one law to benefit law enforcement in Maricopa County, what would it be?
I would expand on the Mandatory Reporter laws and require all adults with evidence of crimes against children to notify police. It should be a crime to turn a blind eye to neglect, physical or sexual abuse. These crimes cannot, and will not be tolerated and we all have a responsibility to keep our children safe.
If you could go to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and enact one new policy, what would it be?
I would deliver complete budget transparency. The only way to eliminate waste and corruption is to shine light on the spending.
What would you do to foster good relations with the County Board of Supervisors and other county leadership?
I spent 21 years of my law enforcement career building relationships with municipal, county and federal leaders. This cooperative approach has earned me dozens of bipartisan endorsements including Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods and Former U.S. Congressman Harry Mitchell. My focus on fiscal responsibility and fundamentally sound law enforcement would prevent the vast majority of politically-driven infighting between the Supervisors and Sheriff.