I am working on a longer post on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's sweeps through Hispanic neighborhoods to round up the usual suspects (Mayor Phil Gordon has asked the feds to investigate these practices, which I hope they will do).
But this one is just weird. Apparently Phoenix tax money is being used by Arpaio to train Honduran police, in a program that makes sense (from a Phoenix point of view) to no one. Sheriff Joe watchers will enjoy his numerous nonsensical explanations, though the last one probably is the correct one. For those outside of Phoenix, sit back and enjoy the weirdness -- its the only consolation we here in Arizona get for having the worst and most abusive sheriff in the country.
Explanation One: Arpaio looks to small Latin American countries as models for his police force
Sheriff's officials told the county Board of Supervisors that the
Honduran National Police possess the "intelligence data, knowledge and
cultural experiences to benefit the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office."
Explanation Two: We can't tell you, because it would endanger Sheriffs' lives (this is an Arpaio oldie but goodie):
discussing efforts in Honduras could endanger the lives of law-enforcement officers in both countries....revealing details could put lives at risk
Explanation Three: Honduras supplied millions of photos for Arpaio's facial recognition software (yeah, I know non-Phoenicians, this is weird)
The sheriff's facial-recognition software program is supposed to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the Honduras engagement....When Arpaio was first confronted about the department's trips to
Honduras, he said the agency had received "millions" of photos from
Explanation Four: Its a RICO thing, so we can't tell you (at least, it uses RICO funds)
The agency has spent more than $120,000 on Sheriff's Office employee
salaries in Honduras, and an additional $30,000 in RICO funds seized
from criminals. And some of the trips occurred during a time period
where the Sheriff's Office overspent its overtime budget by nearly $1
Explanation Five: We can't talk about it, because that would open up public officials to scrutiny for their actions:
The Sheriff's Office will not grant interviews to explain how and why
the program was started and what the benefits are to Maricopa County,
because officials say discussing the program fuels criticism