TUCSON, Ariz. — Cochise County leaders have approved a $1.4 million federal grant for the sheriff's office for support on the southern border, even as Pima County continues to debate its ethics.
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors approved the "Operation Stonegarden" funding from the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday, according to a news release from the county. A lieutenant at the meeting said most of the funds would go toward a new repeater site to improve radio communications, along with overtime pay for deputies.
The board's unanimous decision to approve the funding runs in stark contrast to the Pima County Board of Supervisors, who rejected the funds in September. Supervisors against the grant argue it's not the Pima County Sheriff Department's job to enforce federal immigration laws. Sheriff Mark Napier repeatedly urged the board to accept the funding, calling it "critical to public safety in our country."
Cochise County says the sheriff's office will also purchase eight license plate readers with the funding, and deploy them along roadways "likely to see illegal activities."