Nanos retires as Pima County Sheriff

Updated: Dec. 21, 2016 at 5:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - After 35 years in law enforcement, 32 of them in the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Chris Nanos is retiring.

About 200 friends, family, and fellow officers gathered at the Victory Church on Ruthrauff on the northwest side for his retirement party.

Nanos lost his election bid in November after being appointed Sheriff by the Pima County Board of Supervisors on August 11, 2015. He was the first choice of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who picked Nanos to replace him when he retired after nine terms.

Voters disagreed and elected Republican Mark Napier by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin.

When Nanos was appointed by the board, he told Tucson News Now he was a lawman and not a politician. He was not sure at the time how he might fare in the political arena.

"The decisions made by me in this campaign to be political or not political were my decisions," he said. "So this loss is my loss."

Nanos started his career in El Paso before moving to Tucson in 1984 to become a corrections officer and quickly rose through the ranks, but politics and management proved to be more difficult than field work.

His budget for the year is $5.7 million in the red and it's an issue he will leave for his successor.

He says he has talked to Napier about the deficit and suggested ways to close the gap but does not say whether the new Sheriff will follow them.

Nanos said the budget issues can be exacerbated by good police work.

"You call 911 and we will respond every single time," he said.

The department will not prioritize 911 calls and say "that call's minor we're not going to respond."

The people making the call do not think it's minor "so we will respond to every call," and that can have an impact on the budget.

Nanos says his first order of business in retirement is a family trip to Hawaii and then he will decide what to do next.

Too young to really retire he said "I want to contribute to the community which has been so good to me."

About the election he said "I could have done a number of things different, but I have no regrets."

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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