Canadian Mounties Cancel Training Trip With MCSO Because Joe Arpaio Racially Profiles People
Nevertheless, the RCMP confirms to New Times that it has canceled plans to have several mounties train with MCSO deputies because of the scathing Department of Justice report on the MCSO's alleged racial-profiling practices under the leadership of Arpaio, America's priciest sheriff.
Get the details of the DOJ report here.
The RCMP had planned on sending several mounties to Phoenix to train with the MCSO's Drug Recognition Unit, a specialized group of deputies trained in identifying what drugs a motorist might be under the influence of during a traffic stop.
The MCSO's DRU is regarded as amongst the best in the country. According to Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, law enforcement agencies should "be thrilled to send police officers to receive the kind of training they provide."
The DRU training program is run by MCSO Sergeant Paul White and, according the MCSO,
is "nationally acclaimed" -- the program has trained law enforcement
officers from as far away as England, Germany, and Australia, as well as
officers from 37 states.
The training program with the Mounties was supposed to last several years. After reading the DOJ's report, however, the Canadian law enforcement agency says it wants no association with the MCSO as long as Arpaio's running the show.
"Sheriff Arpaio does not understand why they didn't call him to discuss this and feels that they are using the Department Of Justice to not come down here," MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong tells New Times.
This isn't the first time law enforcement officers from outside of Arizona have scrapped plans to train with Arpaio's boys in beige -- in November, three officers from the Columbus Police Department were supposed to come to Arizona to train with the MCSO's DRU.
However, Columbus Mayor Bill Coleman was still boycotting all things Arizona at the time in protest of SB 1070 -- Arizona's controversial immigration law -- and the officers were told not to come.
One officer paid his own way and participated in the training. The other two never showed up.
Arpaio, at the time, took it as a slap in the face. So, of course, he issued a press release bashing Coleman -- and inviting him to come tour Tent City, the MCSO's infamous outdoor jail.
We spoke with Coleman's press secretary, Dan Williamson, at the time. He called the sheriff's whining about Coleman a "publicity stunt."
"It sounds like there was one officer [who] made a big deal about [the boycott]. This is not an issue that was raised with the mayor. I don't believe anyone went to the mayor and said 'hey, this is important,'" Williamson told us.
Read more about Coleman's "boycott" here.