Arizona sheriff wants Trump to put foot down on border security
PHOENIX – With over three decades of experience working and living in Cochise County, Sheriff Mark Dannels said border security for the affected communities was a “bottom line” agenda item for him.
“I live on this border. We have places you can walk right across all through the southwest border and why would we not want to secure this?” Dannels said Tuesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
Dannels, who was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council in September, has met with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
They have spoken “numerous times on how we fit into this equation, which is community, bottom line,” Dannels said.
He said the 31 border sheriffs he works with, “support the president when it comes to securing our border. We think that message needs to be strong.”
The federal government entered the 25th day of a partial shutdown over funding for the border wall Trump promised during his campaign.
“He said he would have a wall. Border security is so important to all of us,” Dannels said.
Drug trafficking was an especially pervasive problem at the border, he said.
Last week, his office teamed up with other law enforcement agencies to break up a drug ring that reached from Cochise to Pima counties.
Over a dozen people were arrested and 10 pounds of methamphetamine, among numerous drugs, were seized, as well as more than $300,000 in cash.
“This was an international drug ring,” Dannels said, “…that’s affecting our communities, our way of life.
“We need to step up and do something about that.”
Dannels was first elected in 2012, rising from the ranks he joined in 1984. He was re-elected in 2016.
His peers in the Western States Sheriffs’ Association chose him sheriff of the year in 2018.
He didn’t even know he had been nominated, he said in an interview after learning he’d received the honor.
“People were congratulating me (phone calls, texts), and I was like, ‘What for?’”