Pinal County Sheriff’s Office • 971 Jason Lopez Circle
Florence, Arizona 85132 • 520-866-5174 • Fax: 520-866-5195
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Media Relations, Tim Gaffney, 520-705-8124
Sheriff Paul Babeu Receives “2011 National Sheriff of the Year Award”
Tonight, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was recognized as the “2011 National Sheriff of the Year” by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA). The award was presented during the Opening General Session on Sunday, June 19th at the NSA’s Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) established the Ferris E. Lucas award in 1995 to recognize an outstanding sheriff of the year for contributions made to improve the Office of Sheriff on the local, state, and national levels, and for involvement in the community above and beyond the responsibilities required. The award is given in memory of Ferris E. Lucas, NSA Past President (1944-46) and executive director (1964-82), who completed 50 years of distinguished service and leadership in law enforcement. This year’s award is sponsored by Pursuit Products, Inc.
In 2008, Sheriff Paul Babeu won his first term in a landslide election victory over the incumbent sheriff. Since being elected as the Pinal County Sheriff, he has become one of the most progressive Sheriffs in the country.
Sheriff Babeu has earned both statewide and national attention for his strong stance against illegal immigration. His stance and actions against those responsible for drug and human trafficking has earned him the distinction as one of “America’s Toughest Sheriffs on Illegal Immigration.”
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is the third largest in the state of Arizona with over 700 employees. Under Sheriff Babeu’s direction, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has acquired both innovative equipment and technology through $7,000,000 in grant funding. Citizens of Pinal County used to have to wait up to 15 minutes for a deputy to respond, the response time has now been cut in half.
Sheriff Babeu is a strong proponent of regional efforts to improve public safety. The approach has allowed all agencies within Pinal County to pool their resources and work together, saving money and improving service. Thanks to Sheriff Babeu, Pinal County now has a Regional SWAT, Traffic and Narcotics Task Force.
Sheriff Babeu has also organized a “Citizens on Patrol” program and a “Citizen Alert Network” which has brought the community forward and more active with the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Babeu is an Advisory Board Member for the National Organization for Victim’s Assistance. He is also in his second term as the President of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association. Sheriff Babeu has become a national spokesman on border crimes, illegal immigration and the need to secure the U.S./Mexico border. He has worked on the development of the “10 Point Border Security Plan ” with Senator John McCain and Senator Jon Kyl.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “I'm very humbled by this recognition for the exemplary work of our staff, volunteers and the strong community support by the public. We will not let up, but strive for further agency improvements in an effort to best protect our families."
National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is the largest association of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its sixty-nine-year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government. NSA also provides management training for sheriffs and their command personnel at the National Sheriffs’ Institute and through other innovative programs, workshops, and seminars. The National Sheriffs' Association, located in Alexandria, Virginia, also oversees the highly successful Triad Program and Neighborhood Watch.