National Guard deployed to 4 Arizona sheriffs offices to assist staff
Members of the Arizona National Guard are deployed to four sheriff’s offices across the state, providing assistance to county law enforcement agencies facing staffing shortages they attribute to the pandemic in Classes.
According to Major Kyle Key, director of communications for the Arizona National Guard,
“65 Citizen Airmen and Soldiers” are assigned to Maricopa, Cochise, Pinal and Yuma county sheriffs’ offices.
Carol Capas is the public information officer for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. She said members of the National Guard who are assigned to their detention centers do not have contact with those incarcerated.
“They do things like help our front desk when people come in because we still have people who need to come in for fingerprints and other reasons,” Capas said. “They make sure to maintain safety and security outside the pod, making sure the officer, you know, continues to be safe.”
Capas said Guard members have been particularly helpful in outlying areas of the county, such as their facility in Willcox, which she said has been unstaffed for several months. “Willcox is a specific case that we have right now with two people affected,” she said. “They provide assistance with accessing our system, filing reports, entering citations, things of that nature.”
Capas said several members of the guard were also assigned to the Cochise County Special Operations Division.
“It’s a force multiplier for us,” Capas said, citing the specific needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Capas said recently that 26 of the department’s 60 detention staff have been released with infections. “So yes, these people have been extremely beneficial and have helped with the continuity of operations.”
Spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Calbert Gillett said the National Guard “regularly goes out and up with our aviation division in support as an EMT/paramedic.” Gillett said the MCSO has been receiving medical support from the Guard since May 2021.
In October 2021, the MCSO requested 135 National Guard troops to help fill the shortage of staff in the prisons, but then canceled this request.
The Arizona National Guard also assisted with vaccinations at Maricopa County jails.
Tania Pavlak, public affairs specialist for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, said National Guard members have been working with their department since May 2021.
“About 50 National Guard members deployed in the first week of May 2021 and still present today, at the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office in support roles based on their individual specialties,” Pavlak said. “The National Guard is tasked with these responsibilities to make YCSO deputies and detention officers available to attend to their day-to-day assignments and public safety mission.”
“Some of the tasks within the YCSO that National Guard personnel have been assigned specifically, but not limited to, are: assisting in the installation of desert surveillance equipment, assisting with the warehouse with equipment inventories, care of detention center inmates alongside detention officers, maintenance and repairs of YCSO facilities, reception and storage of property of detention center inmates, seizure of detention center data, outfitting new patrol vehicles in the auto shop, working with fleet mechanics to maintain vehicles, operating detention center door controls, and additional monitoring of the inmate accommodation.”
Sheriffs’ offices said the federal government was paying for the deployments.
The Guard troops provide support in several areas to each department:
- Control Officer: “Operates the gates to the detention center inside and outside the facility. Monitors and controls personnel radio traffic and the movement of persons in the sheriff’s custody.
- Medical Assistance: “Provide search and rescue EMT/paramedic support to MCSO air operations.”
- Facilities Maintenance Assistance: “Inputs critical information and records into the PCSO database to help support ongoing investigations. Provides logistical support to the PCSO supply room with respect to inventory tracking and distribution of equipment to PCSO personnel.”
- Data Clerk: “provides administrative support within the Police Department’s Records Division to include records retention, organization and recording of records.”
- Medic: “Provides medical support within the prison medical facility. Assists RNs with daily medical pass, medical admission and dressing changes. Assists BHC with medical request forms by notifying psychiatric patients.”
- Senior Controller: “Supervises teams of Screening Officers. Operates Detention Center gates in and out of the facility. Monitors and controls staff radio traffic and the movement of people under the sheriff’s guard.”
- Control Box Operator: “Operates the detention center doors inside and outside the facility. Opens doors for the unit manager and inmates. Follows up with inmates leaving and returning from the unit. »
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