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Sheriff Joe Arpaio launches annual mall patrols

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his annual holiday patrols will take to Valley malls Wednesday.

Arpaio said undercover and uniformed officers will be patrolling the mall lots on foot and horseback for the 19th year. Even the MCSO chopper will be on the job.

“These malls are something you have to worry about,” he said. “Look at the shootings around the nation. [MCSO patrol] … doesn’t cost taxpayers any money.”

Eight shopping centers, including Paradise Valley Mall, will be patrolled.

However, there’s one mall that won’t be on MCSO’s list. Metrocenter didn’t want his patrol last year and he won’t offer up help this year.

“Politics were involved last year, having to do with the illegal immigration enforcement we do,” said Arpaio. “[But] If we think we’re needed there, we will be there whether they want us or not.”

Metrocenter has its own security and off-duty Phoenix police officers will help keep shoppers safe.

In a statement, Metrocenter said its security has reduced on-property car thefts by 95 percent. It’s partnership with Phoenix police has been on-going since 2007.