Penzone says continued MCSO losses weigh heavily on agency
PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said his agency’s latest loss of life Wednesday is weighing heavy on a group that has suffered over a dozen deaths in the past year and a half.
Lt. Chad Brackman was working off-duty at 87th Street and McDowell Road in Scottsdale on Tuesday when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.
Brackman’s death follows that of Deputy Juan Ruiz, who never regained consciousness after he was allegedly beaten by an uncuffed suspect at an MCSO substation.
“It’s just heavy, it’s difficult for everybody involved and you think after the last time we had that you’re going to get a reprieve and able to get back on your feet,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday. “But in this business? We know that’s just not the reality.”
In total, MCSO has lost 14 employees since the start of August 2020, 100 Club of Arizona CEO Angela Harrolle told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the losses, but Penzone said that the impact doesn’t change regardless of cause.
“It’s just like losing a family member. There is no other way to describe it,” Penzone said. “So although we understand it’s a higher probability in our profession, it does not alleviate the impact that it has on you as a human.”
He spent time on Wednesday with Brackman’s family, who Penzone said is coping with the loss of the 22-year veteran of the agency.
Services for Brackman are pending.