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Pima County Sheriff and Tucson Police Chief discuss immigration, police accountability and synergy

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 19:50:01-05

In an exclusive and rare interview, KGUN9 was granted an opportunity to sit down with newly-elected Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier and Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus for a joint interview.

Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus discussed police accountability, community commitment, immigration and how they plan to bring both departments together. 
Arizona has one of the most open records to learn about investigations involving an officer. Both Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus discussed police accountability and how the state tracks its officer's misconduct:  

Tucson Police is in recruitment mode looking for qualified candidates. Chief Magnus says the departments do background checks and there are parameters set to weed out unqualified applicants.

"Within our department, we are allowed to set our own standards about what can disqualify somebody so the one thing I would say to potential applicants is don't make an assumption about what might be disqualifying it is really important to go through the process and talk to us," he said. 

Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus discussed the hiring process and how the departments weed out applicants: 

Already Tucson Police has offered active shooter and de-escalation training and hosted the largest crisis intervention program in the country. 

Chief Magnus recently met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss improving use of force training.

In regards to the tasing policy, Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus discussed their policy on tasers:

Sheriff Napier says his deputies feel safe when going out into the community, but there is some fear that ambush threats could happen after reports of these new threats popping up around the country. 

Chief Magnus believes in grassroots policing.

"Just as the community relies on us to protect them, frankly we rely on the community to protect us as well. It really is a two-way street, and I think this is an unusual community for a city this size to have an overwhelming positive relationship with the between residents and police officers," said Chief Magnus. 

Chief Magnus says regarding immigration, Tucson Police wants to work cooperatively with their partners at the federal level. He says they share a common goal to make sure they don't have violent criminals from any other country doing things they shouldn't be doing. 

"We struggle with the resources just to deal with our own local crime challenges," Chief Magnus said. "We don't have the resources to become another arm of law enforcement when it comes to immigration enforcement. that is not really the duty of local police."

Sheriff Napier says he doesn't believe they are going to change policy in the near term.

"To disenfranchise large segments of our community and to create trepidation toward reporting things to law enforcement or being a partner with law enforcement is not good public policy," said Sheriff Napier.

Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus elaborated more on their immigration efforts: 

Sheriff Napier and Chief Magnus shared their goals for the future and how they plan to bring the resources in both departments together to better protect the community: