Instead of using tax payer dollars for the purchase of equipment and training, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has made use of Jail Enhancement Funds, Inmate Welfare Funds, as well as drug money seized under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO).
Over the past year, PCSO has obtained well over two million dollars worth of free equipment through the Military Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO), to include items such as, Humvees, Semi trucks, Forklift, Trailers, tools, large generators, storage containers, medical equipment and much more. Much of the equipment has not only been used by PCSO, but also assisted other public safety agencies within Pinal County.
Recently, PCSO sent 26 staff members, including volunteers, to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the Annual National Sheriffs’ Association Conference. Staff and Volunteers were able to attend numerous specialized seminars, workshops, and meetings. The conference provided invaluable training from a variety of well-known presenters from Federal, State, County, and local law enforcement agencies. In addition to the wealth of knowledge gained by our first responders and volunteers, attendance at the National Sheriff’s Association Conference also assisted many staff in obtaining the required number of training hours for the year, in order to maintain their certifications. Total cost for the training, travel, and lodging for all participants was $50,311. It should be noted that Sheriff’s Offices are required to spend a minimum of 25% of Jail Enhancement Funds for training courses throughout each year. This year PCSO accomplished this by using the funding at the 25% rate.
As importantly as training and equipment, PCSO has used the seizure of drug money to fund several community programs throughout Pinal County, such as the Boys and Girls Club, special events at high schools, as well as other organizational program, which help prevent drug use and gang prevention.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Not one dime of taxpayer money was used for this incredible training opportunity. I am proud that we used seized criminal money and Jail Enhancement Funds to pay all expenses for training, travel, and lodging. We have also used this money to purchase needed law enforcement equipment and supported community programs to make Pinal County a better and safer place for our families.”