After living in Arizona my entire life and having been around and working with Arizona sheriffs like Cochise County sheriffs Jimmy Willson and Larry Dever, Coconino County Sheriff Joe Richards and Maricopa County Sheriff Jerry Hill, and even Joe Arpaio on one of his good days, it’s hard to imagine the new face of Arizona sheriffs is Pinal County “Sheriff Underpants” Paul Babeu.
That’s right, “Sheriff Underpants,” as Arizona Republic columnist E. J. Montini referred to him in his July 15, 2014, column, “Sheriff Underpants and the immigrant children at Oracle,” about Sheriff Underpants putting on yet another show for the media down in Oracle waiting of the invasion of refugee children from Central America.
To hear Underpants tell it, we were being invaded by the notorious MS-13 gang. If the new face of the sheriff biz had done his homework, he’d have discovered MS-13 is a Los Angeles-based gang that spreads from there.
If he’d looked a little bit further beyond his well-rehearsed script and the closest television cameraman, he would have been able to see the huge domestic gang problem that consumes Pinal County. I’m not talking about the constantly regurgitated threats Underpants tells us are coming from the cartels, I’m talking about homegrown prison gangs like Mexican Mafia, Sureños, and Aryan Brotherhood that operate with near impunity in Pinal County while Underpants is scouring the desert.
And don’t forget the throngs of street gangs that run the streets of Pinal County committing crimes while Sheriff Underpants had his deputies staked out in Oracle looking for little kids on a federal bus.
In Casa Grande, Pinal County’s biggest city, crime is controlled by one gang that has taken the family name of its leader and they control crime in that city with a crime rate that makes me wonder if city officials should issue every man and woman a Glock, an attack dog and an alarm for their house. He’s also failed to mention the gang members and associates from California who have moved Pinal County in order to stay in close contact with their friends and relatives serving time in the private prisons.
There’s plenty of real crime Sheriff Underpants ignores while he prances around about while talking tough for the cameras.
We’ve seen Underpants’ shenanigans before. The trumped-up tales of one of his deputies being shot by drug smugglers, his claims the cartels had “green-lighted” for execution, claims a family was killed by drug smugglers, when in fact it was a murder-suicide, and now his claims about the refugees in diapers in federal custody coming to Arizona posing a threat to you and me.
I list several of Underpants’ stunts in my June 14, 2012, column, “Pinal sheriff’s opportunistic personality in typical form after Tempe murder-suicide.”
The bigger the stunt, the louder Underpants yells.
Pinal County has a serious gang and organized crime problem that’s homegrown and operates with impunity in large part because Underpants is working the crowd and cameras like a politician instead of working the street like a cop.
Even with Sheriff Underpants’s lack of understanding when it comes to police work — he was only a rookie patrolman in Chandler for a couple of years — gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones, state treasurer candidate Hugh Hallman and Congressional candidate Wendy Rogers are fawning all over the sheriff whose online name was “Studboi1” when he was cruising the web and posting selfies of him in his underpants and sleeping with an illegal alien. That’s a sad commentary on Jones, Hallman and Rogers and their personal level of understanding about crime and criminals in Arizona.
The recent Arizona Republic editorial, “ ‘Sheriff Showboat’ Babeu has disgraced the office,” summed it up, “The actions of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in the last several days have been incomprehensible. And irresponsible.
That they are calculated and political goes without saying. But while Babeu is an elected politician — and a self-obsessed camera hog — he is first and foremost a keeper of the peace. Or is supposed to be. And at that duty he has disgraced his office.”
Sheriff Underpants, the new face of Arizona sheriffs, whose stunts will only make crime that much worse in Arizona.