Pima County Sheriff: Dupnik, looking to extend 32-year career, is facing two challengers

Former TPD captain, Green Party candidate seek to oust Democrat
2012-10-14T00:00:00Z 2012-11-07T09:14:16Z Pima County Sheriff: Dupnik, looking to extend 32-year career, is facing two challengersKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 14, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Three candidates are vying for the office of Pima County sheriff, a position that oversees 1,500 employees and a budget of nearly $120 million.

• Incumbent Democrat Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has worked in local law enforcement for more than half a century. He was elected Pima County sheriff in 1980. He prides himself on improving community relations through social media, online crime mapping and accountability.

Once the economy improves, Dupnik wants to implement a wireless integrated network that will allow 30 public-safety agencies to better coordinate activities during major disasters and incidents. He also wants to expand the department's Directed Patrol Program, in which deputies are assigned specifically to identify serial criminals, to include officers from all agencies in the county.

• Republican challenger Mark Napier began his career in law enforcement as a SWAT training officer in Iowa before joining the Tucson Police Department in 1987.

Retiring 21 years later with the rank of captain, Napier spent a year with the Glendale Police Department as assistant director before joining the University of Arizona Parking & Transportation Services department as associate director of operations.

Napier said communication is key to engaging the community in the fight against crime.

If elected, he wants to bring more visibility to the office of sheriff and reach out to his staff and the community for input in creating a more effective department and developing specific strategies to fight crime.

• Green Party candidate Dave Croteau, a native Tucsonan and a founder of the annual Nam Jam concert to benefit military veterans, has run for office several times and is unwavering in his mission to legalize marijuana.

He has experience serving on citizens advisory boards and is a proponent of geographic policing, which assigns officers and deputies to defined geographic areas or beats to give them the ability to build relationships with residents.

Croteau's top priorities include: ending the prohibition on hemp and cannabis, transforming law enforcement into a peacekeeping power, limiting the use of excessive force by SWAT team officers when serving search warrants and putting a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions until original deeds and documents are reviewed by the sheriff's office.

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