TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona’s longest-serving sheriff retired last year, Sheriff Tony Estrada served his Santa Cruz County community for nearly 30 years.
As a result, newly sworn-in Sheriff David Hathaway, says he has some big shoes to fill.
He adds this new year will surely bring new challenges, but he assures he’s ready to tackle them as they come.
“I’m anxious to get fully up to speed,” he told KGUN9.
The newly elected Sheriff says he’s humbled to be serving the Santa Cruz County community.
“My basic two priorities are violent crime and property crime. Now our county is unique as far as the position on the border. So one of my priorities is to make sure we have those relationships with our counterparts in Mexico,” he added.
Sheriff Hathaway won the election with nearly three quarters of all votes. He says he’s thankful for the community’ support.
Support, he says, he’ll need to get things done.
“If you don't have that then you just can’t succeed in this position,” he told KGUN9.
In terms of staffing...
“We have had somewhat of a recruitment and retention issue, primarily in the detention center. So we’re way understaffed in that regard,” he added.
He says recruits often go to higher paying jobs. His solution:
“Maybe recruit from a population that has a few years under their belt that would be willing to dedicate several years of their life to this type of job. As far as on the patrol side, we are fully staffed right now,” said the Sheriff.
Sheriff Hathaway tells KGUN9 he isn’t going to come in and make drastic changes.
“Instead, I’m going to study what things need to be changed and not have any assumptions that the agency is broken and needs fixing,” he added.
He wants Santa Cruz County to know he will stand up for the border community.
“To get this community back on its feet, that’s what we need to promote it as a safe border town to live in and to visit,” he said.