Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has stayed on the job longer than any of his predecessors. A fact that was not going to be overlooked as the Sheriff’s friends and employees celebrated his 22 years as Sheriff Tuesday at M-C-S-O headquarters. The Sheriff says it’s an emotional occasion for

him, and he’s humbled by having had the opportunity to serve for over two decades.

Arpaio says he got the inspiration for going into law enforcement with his ten cent ticket to the movies as a child. He says he always liked the cowboy movies because you got to see the Sheriff.

Arpaio took office in 1993, introducing Maricopa County to Tent City, pink underwear and green bologna. His controversial immigration sweeps put him under scrutiny for racial profiling Latinos, and he was eventually found guilty of violating civil rights. That in turn, ushered in contempt proceedings this year as the Sheriff faced accusations he was not following court orders to reform his office.

Arizona historian Marshall Trimble gave the Sheriff an old West style Sheriff’s hat and posed next to M-C-S-O horse “Max”, but resisted people urging him to ride him.

–Barbara Villa