As the weather teases us with the hope of warmer days on the horizon, the Sheriff’s Office would like to welcome the students back to school! There is a lot of excitement in the air as students relish the opportunity to re-engage with classmates, teachers, and extracurricular programs. Sheriff Hathaway and staff have had the privilege of talking to and meeting with public school officials including Desert Shadows Principal Christopher Miranda and his staff to ensure an effective relationship with the schools via the Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer program upon the reopening of schools. All of the command staff at the Sheriff’s Office also had the honor of participating in the “Read Across America” program and to read to the students in various public schools throughout the county. This is an important program that allows students to hear from members of the community who stress to them the importance of reading in the pursuit of any endeavor in life. One of the schools Sheriff Hathaway read too was the Little Red School on Patagonia Highway where the Sheriff answered questions from students about the original much smaller school that was also attended by Sheriff Hathaway and his father before him. The Sheriff noted that there had been many changes made from the single building and creative recess games like freeze tag and kickball played by the students in the dirt preceding the modern facility at the location today. This month, Sheriff Hathaway had the privilege of being the guest speaker with various groups including the Rotary Club in Nogales and the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce and shared some of the new programs in the Sheriff’s Office and noteworthy accomplishments of staff. Sheriff Hathaway and Chief Deputy Mario Morales were given a very thorough tour of the Mariposa commercial port-of-entry this month by Port Director Michael Humphreys and his staff and discussed cooperative efforts with federal agencies. Sheriff Hathaway reminisced about his participation in the first opening of the Mariposa Port with a group of students while in high school in the 1970s and the second re-opening of the expanded facility in more recent years. The Sheriff’s Office has been contacted by many people interested in the volunteer Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement Assist programs. It is not too late to join as we are planning to begin training programs in the near future for both programs. The Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize important members of our team during “Administrative Professionals Week,” “National Volunteer Week,” and “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” which all occur during the month of April. Thank you to all of these key personnel!
Sheriff David Hathaway
Besides bringing snow, the last month has also seen new outreach programs coming from the Sheriff’s Office to the community. Sergeant Chad Matthews has been designated as the first Ranch Liaison Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. In this pioneer role, he will have the responsibility of reaching out to the ranching community to see how the Sheriff’s Office can provide better service in the rural parts of the county. Sheriff Hathaway and his staff also held a “Meet the Sheriff” event at the Sonoita Fairgrounds to allow the public to hear the latest law enforcement happenings around the county and to allow the Sheriff’s Office to get input on areas of concern to the community. This month, the Sheriff’s Office is also unveiling a pilot program to combat drug overdoses in the county, by giving departing inmates training on the signs of overdose and how to counteract the effects of an overdose through the use of Narcan. Sheriff’s Deputies and Detention Officers also receive Narcan training. The Sheriff’s Office has reached out this month to establish and bolster partnerships with Heritage Medical Solutions, Circles of Peace, Hope, Inc. (formerly Wellness Connections), and Santa Cruz County Public Schools to gain community assistance regarding inmate reintegration into the community through peer counseling, prescription assistance, education programs, and other community support mechanisms. The Sheriff’s Office has welcomed on board Chief Deputy Mario Morales. He is starting his new job by learning more about community outreach programs in use by other agencies like Tucson Police Department so that the Sheriff’s Office can liaison better with the community in specialized areas such as mental health. This will allow us to deal better with a nationwide negative trend of increasing suicides and overdoses. The Sheriff’s Office is also starting a “Cold Case Squad” spearheaded by Investigator Tom Sauser. This initiative will look at old cases to see if new leads can be developed. We are also actively recruiting individuals who are interested in volunteering for the Search and Rescue Program or to be a volunteer Deputy Sheriff (Law Enforcement Assist Program). If you are interested in either of these programs, call (520) 761-7869 and ask for Lieutenant Gerardo Castillo. On a very positive note, Sheriff Hathaway gave Corporal Paul Estrada special recognition this month for helping bring a family to safety that was lost in the area of Elephant Head in the Santa Rita Mountains. If you know Paul, please thank him for this “above and beyond” effort. Also, all members of the Command Staff at the Sheriff’s Office have volunteered to participate in the upcoming “Read Across America” event in partnership with the county public schools which allows children to experience the importance and joy of reading through class interaction with community members. Lastly, the Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Communications Director Javier De La Ossa and Civil Officer Gabriel Almeida for their years of dedicated service as Javier moves on to an I.T. position with the county and Gabriel enters retirement. They will both be missed! Happy trails to all residents and visitors in historic and beautiful Santa Cruz County!
Sheriff David Hathaway
The old year is out and the new one is in! I hope you all had an enjoyable and safe holiday season. I am happy to be very busy in my first weeks as Sheriff. It has been a wonderful time involving a lot of official visits and radio, TV, and print media interviews on both sides of the border. I had a very personable visit and briefing with Ambassador Ricardo Santana Velázquez, Mexico’s consul in Nogales, Arizona where we discussed transnational economic, security, and cultural issues. Other visits have included meetings with the other border sheriffs and meetings with law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border. I had an especially enjoyable visit with the Chief of Police of Santa Cruz, Sonora and with the mayor of Santa Cruz. We talked about the shared history of our relatives that lived in the Lochiel / Santa Cruz area in the 1800s and the mutual history of those border communities. I casually mentioned that my great grandfather used to send his son on a burro from Lochiel to Santa Cruz 120 years ago to get a bottle of tequila and the mayor surprised me with a bottle of tequila bought in Santa Cruz. Well, I’m not a drinker, but it is a nice souvenir and reminder of my family history! I have really enjoyed interacting with the public and hearing suggestions on how we can serve the community better. I have instructed the deputies to adopt a stance of community outreach and to look for opportunities to serve all members of the community. We are also working to actively promote our county as a safe place to visit or to live in with good weather, friendly people, fine restaurants, shopping opportunities, and beautiful vistas. As the county in Arizona with the largest, busiest ports of entry with Mexico and with the historic sister cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, I am also busy supporting and promoting those important economic and cultural relationships between the two communities and two countries. Congressman Raul Grijalva and I have discussed my inclusion as a local official interacting with any Congressional working groups involved in international relations so as to enhance the voice of our communities in Congress. Please contact me with any suggestions or concerns. I give my cell phone and email out to everyone and I am glad to get your input. You are my boss! Cell: (520) 603-1028, Email: SheriffDavidHathaway@gmail.com. Have an enjoyable and blessed New Year! Sheriff David Hathaway
Welcome to Safe, Historic, and Beautiful Santa Cruz County,
Many are worried that border communities are unsafe. In the case of Santa Cruz County and the city of Nogales, we have a very safe border area. Our people are friendly and our businesses are inviting. In many ways, our county provides some relief from the stress of modern life while offering scenic vistas and milder temperatures than other parts of the state. Our annual rainfall exceeds much of Arizona. This results in more vegetation and animal life and beautiful riparian and forested areas ranging in elevation from 3,200 feet at the Santa Cruz River to over 9,000 feet in the Santa Rita Mountains. The county offers exquisite opportunities for exploring nature and unique local traditions of culture and food and people who openly embrace outsiders with gestures of friendliness. Persons who have lived in our county often return to our friendly relaxed communities after experiencing life elsewhere.
I, Sheriff David Hathaway, was born and raised in Nogales and I have lived and worked in various parts of Santa Cruz County. I can assure you that you will enjoy visiting or living in our county. Nogales and Santa Cruz County have crime rates below the average for the state. My wife Karen and I and our family would like to welcome you as a visitor or a new resident to any of our communities which range from the rural ranching and vineyard regions on the edges of the county to the border community of Nogales and the many other urban and suburban parts of the county in-between that each offer their own unique culture.
As a family with nine children, we can attest to the fact that Santa Cruz County is a great safe place to raise a family and has the advantage of offering the experience of multiple cultures and easy visits to Mexico. We are happy to welcome you and your family to our unique friendly county.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call me at 520-761-7869 at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. I look forward to welcoming you and your family to our county.
Santa Cruz County
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