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Arizona’s tough-on-crime stance costs big bucks (access required)

Crime in Arizona has dramatically declined this decade, but the number of Arizonans in prison continues to climb and has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2002, thanks in part to the creation of new crimes and tougher sentencing guidelines. Supporters of the tough-on-crime approach say the figures show that the laws are doing what is intended: making Arizona safer by keeping dangerous criminals behind bars. But critics say that idea defies research and the state can't afford to continue the trajectory, especially in a time of fiscal crisis.

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DPS warns of massive service reductions if cuts go through (access required)

The Department of Public Safety warned that the agency could be reduced to 1997 staffing levels, officers could be forced into dangerous situations without backup and Arizonans could be forced to wait more than an hour for officers to respond to some emergency calls if it has to through with massive budget cuts.

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Vanderpool wants to keep leading DPS (access required)

Roger Vanderpool hopes his performance as director of the state's largest police force will speak louder than his political history - two elections as Pinal County Sheriff as a Democrat and an appointment to his current post by a Democratic governor - when Arizona's Republican governor decides who will lead the department for the next five years.

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DPS relies on loans; money needed by Sept. 11 (access required)

In two weeks, Highway Patrol cars could be sitting empty in government parking lots and the state crime lab could be bereft of forensic criminologists if Gov. Jan Brewer doesn't sign a budget bill nearly identical to one she vetoed nearly two months ago.

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Charges against GOP director dropped (access required)

A West Valley justice of the peace on June 2 dismissed criminal speeding charges filed against Brett Mecum. Mecum, the executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, was arrested at work and charged with criminal speeding and reckless driving last month after photo enforcement cameras captured images of Mecum driving more than 100 miles per hour on a Valley freeway.

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