Marco Antonio ‘Tony’ Estrada has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in law enforcement. He began as a police dispatcher for the Nogales Police Department and 25 years later retired as police captain and second in command. He also served as interim chief during numerous administrations, a leadership role he has put to good use when he was elected Sheriff of Santa Cruz County in 1992.In addition to working within law enforcement, Estrada has operated private businesses including Tony’s Flower Shop. serving as a notary public, and working as a private investigator. However, his heart and soul belonged to law enforcement, and that is why he decided to run for sheriff, an election he first won in 1992.
The citizens of Santa Cruz County, which includes the City of Nogales and very rural areas, rarely agree on topics that concern them all, but they are united in their support of Estrada. He is now in his fifth term as sheriff, and under his tenure the office has grown into one of the finest law enforcement agencies in Southern Arizona.Estrada is often called upon to share his expertise, especially in the areas of undocumented immigration concerns and in dealing with a floating population that crosses the border in both directions on a daily basis.Estrada said his most recent professional accomplishment is that he spearheaded the campaign to gain voters’ approval to establish a jail district for a new adult and juvenile detention facility. He added that he pledges to make sure that the men and women who make up the Sheriff’s Office are well trained professionals who take pride in their work.”Our goal is to protect and serve the public, and we are constantly seeing better an more cost-efficient ways to do so,” Estrada said, adding that he is a strong believer that the community has the right to feel safe and that law enforcement officers have an obligation to make that happen.
Born in Nogales, Sonora, Estrada immigrated to Nogales, Arizona as a young boy and graduated from Nogales High School in 1962. He is truly a bilingual, bicultural leader who is able to interact with a wide variety of individuals, as proven by the many requests he has received to add his name to those overseeing local, state, and federal organizations.In addition to the many hours he devoted to law enforcement, Estrada has been extremely active in the community, serving on dozens of committees and working with various agencies including the United Way of Santa Cruz County, the Boys and Girls Club, the Domestic Violence Steering Committee, and the Primeria Alta Historical Society to name just a few. He is also a member of the Animal Care and Control Advisory Commission.Estrada’s most recent professional affiliation has been as a member of the advisory counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. He is on the board or council of numerous law enforcement organizations including but not limited to the International Police Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Southern Arizona Border Law Enforcement (SABLE).
(Echo Note: Echo Magazine will feature a person, program, or project of interest every issue from different groups and organizations in the community. This issue we will re-introduce Sheriff Estrada, make sure you pick up the May Edition which will feature more on the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.)
Brief Timeline-Bio of Sheriff Estrada
• Born and raised in the border communities of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and Nogales Arizona
• Retired from the Nogales, Arizona Police Department in 1991 after 25 years of service.
• Retired with the rank of Captain, second-in-command in charge of uniform division, criminal investigation division and support services including department public information officer.
• Served as interim Chief of Police during two city administrations
•Campaigned for the Office of Sheriff of Santa Cruz County in 1992. Was elected and sworn into office on January 1, 1993. Currently serving fifth term.
• Over four decades in public safety in Nogales and Santa Cruz County.
• Board member and spokes person for the Santa Cruz County Metro Drug Task Force and other professional affiliations.