TUCSON, Ariz. — It appears Chris Nanos will once again become Pima County Sheriff, unseating Sheriff Mark Napier. Votes are still being counted, but with a lead this morning Nanos told 9 On Your Side he thinks they have the race won.
He served a year as interim sheriff before losing the job to Sheriff Mark Napier in 2016. After this election day, it appears he won it back.
“I’m excited, I'm excited to be back, I’m excited for what’s ahead of us,” said Nanos.
Nanos says these are unprecedented times for the country and for law enforcement. He plans to work on reform.
“Implementing a solid effort at what’s called defund the police, I call it reallocating funds,” he said.
Nanos says he’d like to focus more on what he calls "deflection" -- sending people suffering from mental illness and drug addiction into social programs rather than jails. He says it would save millions of dollars.
“Those funds could be used and better serve them and the taxpayer by taking those inmates that are nothing more than a drug addiction or mental health problem and give them to the actual experts in the medical field," he said.
He says other changes can come in the way of equipment -- including the implementation of body cameras.
“Today’s world everybody has a camera we know that. So why wouldn’t we want to get that side of the story? That other side may confirm what we saw in the first camera, but it might also show another perspective and that there is more to this," Nanos said.
Nanos says he was enjoying retirement after 2106, but felt a calling to come back now.
“Right now, I think I just have to listen," he said. "Just hear from the community, my team, and let's move from there.”
We reached out to Sheriff Napier, but have not heard back.