My name is Kim Pound and I am a candidate for Gila County Sheriff. I am writing this letter in regard to the first Gila County Sheriff's Department Citizens Police Academy, organized by John Armer in conjunction with Gila Community College.
As a current Salt River Police Department Division Commander, I believe that Citizen Police Academies are an excellent idea in educating the public on the demands and practices of our fine law enforcement officers on a daily basis. In fact, I have organized and instructed at Citizen Police Academies when they were first being utilized to build a bond between law enforcement and the public that they serve.
My only concern is the timing of the first Citizens Police Academy. Why has it taken John Armer, his chief deputy and undersheriff, almost four years to figure out that this training is an excellent "community policing tool?" Is this training being implemented because this is an election year, and Mr. Armer is well aware that he has neglected the citizens from the north end of this county for the last four years?
The other concern that I have is the application brochure/form that he is circulating to the public for the citizens to enroll into the Citizen Police Academy. This application form looks more like campaign literature than an enrollment form for a Citizen Police Academy. Why would John Armer have a picture of himself in the brochure followed by his biography informing everyone on how long his family has lived in Gila County, and that he is a career law enforcement officer? If I remember correctly, Mr. Armer retired from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and attempted to be elected Maricopa County Sheriff, but was defeated by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This means that, like me, he served most of his law enforcement career in another county.
The picture of John Armer and his biography appears to be campaign literature on a Citizen Police Academy application form. There is also a picture of Mr. Armer waving to the citizens of Payson in the Rodeo Parade. Again, why on an application form? I hope this is not a waste of the tax payers' money. Maybe he should utilize the money that was spent on this "fancy" application form to raise the standard of living for our fine deputy sheriffs and correctional officers, who serve the citizens of this fine county day and night. I am asking the voters of this county not to be fooled by this campaign ploy.
Kim J. Pound, Republican Candidate for Gila County Sheriff