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Stop big, wealthy corporations from dictating police services in your town

We love this great state. We love our profession. We feel supported by the people we serve.

But, Arizona is becoming the next victim of a nationwide movement. Out- of-state and foreign entities are dictating what type of police services local residents should receive. Police employees are in disbelief that big, wealthy corporations are manipulating their hometowns. The Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) is asking you to help protect the integrity of law enforcement.

Across the United States, political non-profits are attempting to reorganize government operations. Large companies are funding this movement to privatize public amenities, like public safety. Those behind these efforts claim their business successes can work for every industry — including governmental entities.

However, law enforcement cannot be generalized with other occupations.

When police officers make traffic stops, enter homes or have to use lethal force, it is impossible to compare our profession with anything in the private sector. Law enforcement handles sensitive information and must act according to strict laws. Few qualify and are entrusted to perform our work. Integrity is measurable in law enforcement and it is demanded by our justice system. Rightfully, we sit in judgment by Arizona taxpayers. It is an honorable testament that all Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) employees, sworn and civilian, want to be accountable to a higher standard than anything available in the private sector. Police have a “business model” via current Arizona state laws — and it works.

From the scientists in our nationally recognized crime lab to the highway patrolmen and narcotics detectives, all DPS employees face danger and criminals together. However, introduced legislation impedes the ability for our organization to protect the livelihoods police, staff and their families. AHPA’s primary duty is to provide legal representation after critical incidents, like pursuits, shootings and Taser usage. When police officers can be the subjects of criminal, civil and administrative investigations for doing their jobs, AHPA is there to provide assistance through all the checks and balances.

Police associations provide an essential service that helps protect the integrity of public safety services and aid in due process.

We are also involved in our communities through charitable programs.

We sponsor and participate in such charities as Arizona Special Olympics and Christmas Patrol Bear Program. Our members, who are your friends and neighbors, understand the importance of being involved in the community. It is that community involvement that promotes a stronger relationship between residents and law enforcement. We all have the common goal of safe communities for our families.

DPS is one of the finest police agencies in the nation due to our honorable and courageous employees. AHPA members want to maintain law enforcement’s elite standards. Current Arizona legislation that is based on generalized private business practices and will not work for police work. Big money wants to impose their political agenda on Arizonans, while compromising optimal public safety. National and foreign businesses should not dictate how police services should be rendered to local residents. DPS employees are the investments of the Arizona taxpayer. Residents, not outside political interest groups, should have greater input into their public safety needs.

We ask that you stand with law enforcement and oppose police reform legislation or any legislation that is brought forth by organizations that do not truly represent you as residents of our state. Our elected officials should listen to their constituents and not to groups that claim to “represent the taxpayer.”

— Jimmy Chavez is president of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association.

5 comments

  1. Mr. Chavez, You are spot-on!

  2. Ties That Bind: Arizona Politicians and the Private Prison Industry — In These Times

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/6085/ties_that_bind_arizona_politicians_and_the_private_prison_industry/

  3. This is happening all over this country…corporations are now taking ownership of our police departments through privatization.

  4. Due to budget cuts and resulting layoffs of many Policemen across the country, many Police Departments have stopped responding to many different types of calls.
    The most commonly spoken about instance is in Oakland, CA, in which they won’t respond to 44 cases. As follows is a short list of a few, as reported by NBC.

    burglary
    theft
    embezzlement
    grand theft
    grand theft:dog
    identity theft
    false information to peace officer
    required to register as sex or arson offender
    dump waste or offensive matter
    discard appliance with lock
    loud music
    possess forged notes
    pass fictitious check
    obtain money by false voucher
    fraudulent use of access cards
    stolen license plate
    embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
    extortion
    attempted extortion
    false personification of other
    injure telephone/ power line
    interfere with power line
    unauthorized cable tv connection
    vandalism
    administer/expose poison to another
    Oakland, CA is not the only place in which this is happening. There have also been reports in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Philadelphia (another), Omaha, Oklahoma, and Georgia of Police no longer responding to certain calls not only due to budget cuts but for fuel conservation, as well, as gas prices ascend. If you have found an article for another state in which I have not, please email it to info@thedrahos.net so that it may be added to the list.

    But then again, it is a common misconception that Police are to protect individuals. That is why we have the 2nd Amendment, so that we can protect ourselves, and that is challenged around every corner. It is actually not the Police’s job to protect individuals. I understand that’s a lot to swallow, but it is true, and it is upheld by courts.

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