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Pima County Sheriff's Department

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Annual budget


Keeping the Peace Since 1865

600 sworn deputies 872 civilian

Legal personality
Governmental: Government agency

The Pima County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) is an American law enforcement agency that serves the unincorporated areas of Pima County, Arizona. It is the seventh largest sheriff's department in the nation. It operates six district offices and three smaller satellite offices. The Corrections Bureau, has four facilities which houses on average 1,850 inmates per day.


The department employs about 516 sworn officers and more than 872 civilian and corrections personnel and utilizes the services of over 400 volunteers. Its headquarters is on East Benson Highway in Tucson, Arizona.


Each division chief reports the Chief Deputy (undersheriff) currently held by Chris Radtke

The Department is divided into 4 Bureaus, each headed by a Chief, which are assisted by Captains who are assisted by Lieutenants.

OPERATIONS BUREAU: Chief Byron Gwaltney

Patrol Division:

  • Tucson Mountain District: Covers Northwestern parts of the county including Picture Rocks, Avra Valley and Marana,Az.
  • Foothills District: One of the busier districts which encompasses areas East of I-10 to West Campbell Rd. North from Speedway Blvd-Anklam South of the Pinal County border. This district includes parts of Marana, Oro Valley,AZ and Catalina(satellite station).
  • Rincon District: This district covers the most eastern part of the county, including; Mount Lemmon, Corona De Tucson, Vail and parts of Benson,AZ
  • San Xavier District: Covers south central Tucson, the Tohono O'Odham Nation, Three Points(satellite station) and Sasabe.
  • Green Valley District: This unique district mainly covers Green Valley, which is more of a 55+ community. The Sheriff Auxiliary Volunteers are vary active in this area, this unit operates as its own department in that they have a Commander, Lieutenants, Sergeants and a command post. All the members of this unit are volunteers and must do through training before hitting the streets of Green Valley. This district goes far south to the Santa Cruz County,
  • Ajo District: Covers southwestern part of the county to the Mexican Border, including the Tohono O'Odham Indian reservation and the Town of Ajo, which is about 120 miles west of Tucson. The district has its own Communications Center, Jail and Court system considering the distance from Tucson.

  • Air and Rescue Section
  • Special Operations Section
  • Tactical Response Section


  • Crimes Against Property
  • Violent Crimes & Targeted Offenders

  • Narcotics & Special Invest. Section
  • Technical Support Section
  • ADMINISTRATIVE BUREAU: Chief Karl Woolridge


  • In-State Training Coordinator
  • Community Services Section
  • Financial Services
  • Honors Section
  • Material Mngmnt Section
  • Risk Management
  • Staff Services Section
  • Training Section

  • Homeland Security
  • Info. Resources Section
  • Records Maintenance
  • CORRECTIONS BUREAU: Corrections Chief India Davis

    The Corrections Bureau is divided into two divisions which are further divided into sections

  • East / West Sections
  • Intake Section
  • Minimum Security Facility
  • Security Services Section
  • Tower Section
  • Inmate Processing Section
  • Judicial Services Section
  • Logistics Section
  • Medical Services Section
  • Rank structure

    The Corrections Department uses the same rank and insignia.


    In 2012 Sheriff Dupnik along with input from the department staff went from Class B uniforms to Class C uniforms. These uniforms are made for comfort and lightweight. The word SHERIFF is in big letters on the backs of the beige shirts, along with dark green patches. The badges are sewed on over the left chest area which prevents being ripped or snagged on. The dark green pants are made of a police proprietary cloth which are light-weight and is almost elastic. The corrections division wears a similar uniform but with brown pants and brown patches to differentiate the two divisions.


    The Sheriff's Department implemented a $92 Million voter approved bond to create the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network which went live in April 2014. The "PCWIN" is a multi-agency radio system in which 30 public safety departments in Pima County can switch to one channel and communicate. In addition to the new radio system, funds were also allocated to build a new communications center known as the Pima Emergency Communications and Operations Center (PECOC) and remodeled its back-up center at the Thomas O. Price service center, which is the Tucson Police/Fire communications center. The communications center is located in Tucson's midtown area. It also houses the Drexel Heights Fire Dispatch center, which dispatches for rural Fire Departments. The new PCWIN radio system uses the APX 7000 & 7500 radios [1] on the state of the art digital Project 25 Phase II system, with antennas placed strategically throughout Pima County.

    Crime statistics

    According to Federal Bureau of Investigation data in a media release by SCSD in 2012, Tucson has 631.94 violent crimes per 100,000 population, while Phoenix has 518.12 violent crimes per 100,000 population. The Tucson Metropolitan Area has the second lowest crime rate in the state of Arizona. Pima County Sheriff's Department averages 4.3 minutes to respond to emergencies 90% of the time and the average response time to all emergencies is 5.3 minutes.

    Edward F. Echols (1936-1946)

    One of the most interesting of Pima County's Sheriffs was Ed Echols. According to historian David Leighton, of the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Ed Echols was born in Stockdale, Texas in 1879. As a teenager he helped his father on cattle drives up the old Chisholm Trail. In 1902, along with his brother Art he traveled by wagon to Cochise County, Arizona where he worked selling cords of wood and also as a ranch hand. Five years later he went on tour with the Miller Brothers 101 Wild West Show, touring cities like New York and Chicago. On the tour, he also befriended future film actor Tom Mix who he would remain friends with for years to come.

    In 1912, Echols traveled to Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the first Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest (later known as the Calgary Stampede). He would compete against the best ropers in the world and garner the title of World’s Champion Roper.

    In 1921, he homesteaded land near Mescal, Arizona (located southeast of Tucson) and its believed this land would become part of the larger Double X Ranch that he would come to own. Three years later, Leighton Kramer, an Easterner who wintered in Tucson, Arizona conceived the idea of a rodeo and rodeo parade in Tucson and turned to Echols for advice on creation of what would be called La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros. For his many years of involvement in the Tucson rodeo he would later gain the nickname "Mr. Rodeo."

    In 1934, Echols ran for sheriff of Pima County, even going so far as to have his friend and movie star Will Rogers campaign for him but still lost the election. Two years later he ran again and won.

    From 1936 to 1946 Echols served as sheriff of Pima County. He chose Herb Wood as his Undersheriff and when he first entered office he had only six deputies for the whole county. He brought the County Jail up to standard and improved the office filing system. For the year 1939, he reported his men had recovered $30,408 of stolen property, transported 54 prisoners to the State Prison in Florence, Arizona and served 915 subpoenas.

    By 1944, his staff had increased to 24, which included 12 deputies in Tucson, 4 in Ajo, 1 in Marana, 1 in Arivaca, 3 jailers, 1 matron and 2 cooks. Two years later he ran unsuccessfully for sheriff but later would serve many years as a Constable, retiring in 1962. He would pass away in 1969.

    Sheriff Dupnik (1980–2015)

    The department is led by a sheriff and four bureau chiefs, which command a total of four bureaus.

    Clarence Dupnik was the sheriff for over 35 years. A veteran of over 50 years in local law enforcement, he served as sheriff of Pima County from February 1980 till he retired in 2015; he was elected seven times. Dupnik saw the population of Pima County increase from 191,216 to about 1.5 million people. Below are Dupnik's accomplishments.

  • Oversaw the 1984 construction and implementation of one of the first direct-supervision correctional facilities in the nation. Direct-supervision facilities allow correctional staff to interact directly with inmates within housing units. This philosophy has resulted in reduced violence against staff and other inmates within the facility.
  • Created the vision and helped implement the plan to transition drug enforcement efforts into the Pima County/Tucson Metropolitan Counter Narcotics Alliance which involves several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Instituted a mandatory drug testing program for all Sheriff’s Department applicants and a random drug testing program for all employees. With advancing technology, the mandatory drug testing program was expanded by adding hair testing for drugs. The Sheriff’s Department was one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to utilize hair testing as part of a drug testing program.
  • Served as a founding member of the Command Group of the Arizona Alliance Planning Committee - a joint effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, in cooperation with the military, designed to reduce the influx of narcotics across the Southern Arizona border.
  • Organized a national and international award-winning crime-prevention program, using Arizona's first trained law-enforcement volunteers, now numbering more than 200 men and women operating in the Tucson, Green Valley, and Ajo communities. Volunteers provide public fingerprinting, crime scene security, traffic control, Neighborhood Watch administration, and preventive patrols in neighborhoods and county parks.
  • Oversaw the creation of the Pima Regional SWAT team. This accomplishment resulted in the largest, most capable tactical team in the state of Arizona and the only Federal Emergency Management Agency type 1 tactical team in the southern region of the United States. The Pima Regional SWAT team is a collaborative effort by officers from seven Pima County law enforcement agencies and medics from various local emergency medical support agencies. The program includes several distinct elements: Tactical, Negotiations, EOD, Canine, and Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS). These elements work together to resolve dangerous incidents that pose a risk to the lives of the residents of Pima County.
  • Implemented a Regional Explosives Ordnance Detail (EOD) consisting of several local agencies and resulting in the only EOD team in the nation to which ATF and FBI agents are formally assigned. This Regional EOD team is equivalent to three FEMA Type 1 teams and is the only one in the nation that includes an integrated investigative element.
  • Created the Pima County Regional Law Enforcement Memorial Service to honor all regional law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate price and died in the line of duty. The Regional Memorial Service currently recognizes and memorializes 47 federal, tribal, state, county and local law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty while serving in Pima County. This annual event brings together over thirty area law enforcement agencies to honor the community's fallen officers at one event.
  • Started the first Border Crime Unit that offers a mechanism for federal, state and local law enforcement to cooperatively address the rising violence from the illegal human and drug trafficking trades. The Border Crime Unit has grown from an initial assignment of a sergeant five deputies to a multi-agency task force composed of two sergeants and eighteen deputies from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, United States Border Patrol agents, and officers from the Department of Public Safety. The Border Crime Unit has become a national model for Border Crime task forces.
  • Presides over the implementation of an interoperable regional public safety communications system of unprecedented proportion that was made possible by voter approval of a $92 million bond.
  • The first law local enforcement agency to be provided pre-emption equipment that allows all patrol vehicles to activate intersection signal lights to phase to “green” as they approach during an emergency response or pursuit. This equipment has resulted in improved response times and increased safety for patrol deputies and the motoring public.
  • Implemented a Dial Dictation System (DDS) that allows deputies to quickly dictate reports over the phone. This system minimizes the time a deputy is not available to provide emergency response and patrol the local neighborhoods, thus resulting in faster response times. The DDS Unit is staffed by civilian personnel who dictate the recorded reports, thereby freeing deputies to respond to calls for service.
  • One of the first agencies in the country to deploy a taser less lethal device to every commissioned officer, as well as to many Corrections Officers within the Pima County Adult Detention Center.
  • In 2006, reinstituted the Pima County Sheriff’s Department's (PCSD) Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy to train commissioned law enforcement personnel. In conjunction with the regionalization concept of tactical elements from adjoining agencies, and due to numerous requests from local law enforcement agencies, the PCSD academy became a regional law enforcement academy in 2008. The first graduating class included deputies with the Department, as well as officers from the Marana Police Department, Oro Valley Police Department and the Sahuarita Police Department. The Sheriff's Department also partnered with the United States Air Force in 2011 by inviting military police to attend the regional academy to be certified as peace officers in the State of Arizona.
  • Implemented Advanced Crisis Intervention Training (C.I.T.) as a 40-hour course offered to commissioned, corrections and civilian personnel. In 2011, 32% of deputies are C.I.T. trained, a percentage that exceeds the national standard by more than 10%. C.I.T. trained personnel are better able to identify, manage and help individuals suffering a mental crisis while reducing the potential for violent escalation.
  • Provided each deputy with a smart phone that enables them to access criminal investigation data bases, Department manuals, policies, procedures, reference materials, and immediate notifications of updates to those materials. Deputies are also able to instantly transmit photos of lost children or other individuals, including photos of suspects. The phone also serves as a back-up communication device to the dispatch center.
  • Enabled the issuance of AR-15 variant patrol rifles to deputies, giving them a long gun platform for both urban and rural applications. The current issued weapon is the Rock River Arms Tactical Car A4 equipped with an Aimpoint Red Dot sighting system for improved accuracy and faster target acquisition. Pima County is one of the first agencies in the country to utilize a carbine rifle as standard issue and still issues a Remington 870 shotgun to all qualified deputies.
  • Provided each patrol officer with the latest in Mobile Data Computers (MDC) allowing patrol sergeants and deputies to monitor call activity, see the location of other patrol units through GPS mapping, provides immediate access to the Sheriff’s Department’s Records Management System and local and state Criminal Justice Databases. MDC’s allow personnel to access and view reports and mugshot photos while in the field.
  • Provided each detective, bomb technician, traffic investigator and Patrol Commander with the latest in Netbook computers. These Netbook computers provide wireless internet access to the Sheriff’s Department’s Records Management System and local and state Criminal Justice Databases allowing investigative personnel to view reports, photos and conduct crime analysis while in the field.
  • Created and implemented one of the first and most comprehensive first responder field trauma programs in law enforcement by providing all deputies with a law enforcement version of the latest U.S. Military battlefield trauma kit. The Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK) were issued in June 2010 along with classroom and hands on training. The IFAK is designed to treat gunshot and other penetrating injuries. It has been put to use on numerous occasions by deputies treating victims of violent crimes, most notably during the response to the January 8, 2011, shooting involving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The use of these kits and their contents is credited for saving numerous lives that day.
  • Enabled the Pima County Sheriff’s Department to become what is believed to be the first agency in the United States to utilize fixed wing Helio-Courier aircraft for tactical patrol support. These aircraft have been outfitted with some of the most advanced technology available and have led to significant increases in criminal apprehensions and enormous cost savings over more traditional aircraft operations. Currently implementing a helicopter program to be utilized for border crime and search and rescue operations, thereby reducing response time and providing for increased safety for law enforcement and the citizens of Pima County.
  • New Sheriff

    Deputy Sheriff Chris Nanos took over as Sheriff on August 1, 2015. Nanos has been with the department since 1984. He has worked in all fields of the Sheriff Department


    Pima County Sheriff's Department Wikipedia

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