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Gov. Hobbs’ border strategy winning over the lawmen who are looking for help

Casa Grande, Arizona — The all-too-familiar spot on Interstate 10 in Pinal County where sheriff’s deputies park their cars and crews run.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said, “She heard a 460% increase in investigations involving human smuggling and a 600% increase in fentanyl.”

Lamb attended a roundtable meeting with Governor Katie Hobbs and a number of local police chiefs and county officials on Monday. Mr. Hobbes held similar conferences in Cochise and Yavapai counties. “It was nice to hear that she’s listening to us and listening to her, and she’s trying to do something about it,” Sheriff Lamb said.

The governor has said his goal is to depoliticize the border. Hearing directly from law enforcement about their challenges goes a long way toward that end.

“We want to put these resources to good use, where they are most useful to communities that bear the brunt of federal inaction near our borders,” Hobbes said. Told.

In January, many Republican legislators complained that Mr. Hobbes’ decision to disband former Gov. Doug Ducey’s border strike force would create a public health and safety crisis along the border.

Strikeforce was created to combat the threat of drug cartels and human smugglers.

“Governor Hobbes said she agrees this is a crisis. But her behavior in raising border-related funding for law enforcement shows otherwise. It’s unacceptable,” the Republican state said. MP Steve Montenegro said at the time. But no one pointed a finger at Casa Grande. “Governor Hobbs, the City of Florence appreciates your input, but more importantly, we are responding with resources to keep first responders safe,” said Florence Police Chief Bruce Wallace. .

The Florence Police Department is one of five Pinal County Police Departments awarded grants to combat border-related crime.

During the governor’s visit to Yavapai County in June, the Sheriff’s Department and the Prescott Valley Police Department received a $1.5 million grant to help combat fentanyl trafficking. In July, the governor’s office gave the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office $41 million to help fight border-related crime. “It is my top priority to ensure that every county receives the appropriate resources for their specific needs and is not targeted by politics,” Hobbs said.

The Ducey administration made headlines along the border, from creating a border strike force to building a border wall of short-lived and expensive shipping containers, but neither seemed to make much of a difference.

Border communities and law enforcement agencies seem to prefer the Hobbesian approach of targeting responses based on the support they want the state to provide.

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