Letter to Rep. Pearce

April 15, 2008
Representative Russell Pearce
Arizona House of Representatives
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Dear Representative Pearce:

e would like to express our concerns about your invitation for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to conduct operations in the City of Mesa. Our concerns go to the dangerous atmosphere created by the Sheriff’s publicity of his police operations.

he Mesa Police Association (MPA) does not question the Sheriff’s decision to use his manpower in this manner; however, we have significant concerns about the publicity surrounding these operations and the potential for violence created by the gathering of passionate protagonists and antagonists on the immigration issue.
Generally, the MPA supports a public policy that favors the enforcement of immigration laws by local law enforcement. Although local law enforcement has no ability to affect the problems with a porous border, it can use its resources to remove criminal aliens from our communities. This has been the focus of our efforts in Mesa.
Although the Sheriff’s operations could be beneficial to the community, holding a press conference in advance of a police operation and thereby inviting the polarized factions to gather in these neighborhoods creates a potential for violence and endangers the very communities the Sheriff seeks to protect. This method of operation places our members at great risk, because they will place themselves on the frontlines of any confrontation.

We have made many sacrifices to protect this community and will be standing on the “thin blue line” long after the Sheriff’s Office has moved on to other communities. In the future, we hope you will contact us to discuss the needs and concerns of our officers prior to taking actions that may adversely affect their safety.

As a former deputy sheriff, we hope you can convince the Sheriff to utilize good law enforcement practices and to pursue his operations in a manner that does not create unnecessary hazards to the community and to the good men and women of law enforcement.

Very truly yours,
Fabian Cota, President Mesa Police Association