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PCSD Sheriff Nanos discusses plan for 'meaningful police reform'

Sheriff Chris Nanos
Posted at 12:43 PM, May 18, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Sheriff of Pima County released a statement Tuesday talking about his approach to police reform.

Democratic Sheriff Chris Nanos, who began his term in January of this year, outlined a four-part approach to adopt meaningful reform that he says will result in serving the public with professionalism, courtesy, and respect.

RELATED: Pima Sheriff requesting body cameras

These are the efforts that were listed in his statement, verbatim:

  1. Several weeks ago, my command staff and I met with the Axon Company, the largest law enforcement body camera company in the nation. I am currently moving forward to provide commissioned members of this organization with body worn cameras. This will provide transparency, accountability, and protection to members of the public and my deputies. I believe this is the first step to facilitate much needed police reform and I do not plan to stop there
  2. My administration and I are currently working on the creation of a regional Critical Incident Team to handle investigations of in-custody deaths and officer involved shootings. This will allow member agencies in this region (Sahuarita, Oro Valley, Marana, South Tucson, Pima County, or Tucson Airport Authority) to investigate an incustody death or officer involved shooting that would otherwise be left to the involved agency. In this way, we can ensure a transparent and objective investigation and avoid conflict of interest that may cast doubt on results.
  3. Third, I am in the process of creating a community board to assess policies that impact the training of our deputies and our approach to discipline and accountability. It is my intention to select members from the community who are representative of the population of Pima County and who bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds to ensure a balanced and thoughtful approach to these issues.
  4. Finally, I am currently working with our governmental partners to reduce the population at our jail and not only address over-incarceration and recidivism rates but also save taxpayer dollars. By working with the Pima County Health Department, we can create a program that connects those suffering from mental illness and addiction with needed resources and treatment options. Jail is for dangerous criminals, not for people suffering from illnesses. By working with our courts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to find jail alternatives for those serving time in our jail for low level, nonviolent misdemeanors, we not only provide for a safer community, we also save taxpayers millions of dollars. Housing an inmate costs $127 per day, whereas utilizing electronic ankle monitors costs $11 per day, per inmate. It’s using technology to not only be more efficient, but it is also a more effective way to keep our community safe.

"Police interact with the public in a variety of settings and the reaction they get from the community can range from affirmative to abusive. In some ways, these two experiences sum up the complex nature of policing: praise and hostility can both be part of a typical day’s work. I am committed to ensuring our community has a positive and professional experience when they are in harm’s way or in crises that require the services of sworn officers of this organization," Nanos said.

KGUN 9 will be speaking to Sheriff Nanos on Tuesday to learn more about his approach to police reform.