Cochise County Sheriff to hold new national responsibilities

Published: Mar. 10, 2017 at 7:43 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:13 AM MST
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Arizona county sheriff's attend the Western States Sheriff’s Association Conference held in...
Arizona county sheriff's attend the Western States Sheriff’s Association Conference held in Reno, NV. (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Sheriff of Cochise County is now taking on national responsibilities – where his voice will be heard by Homeland Security and President Trump's Administration.

The National Sheriff's Association just appointed Sheriff Mark Dannels to the position of "Immigration and Border Security Chairman."
Tucson News Now spoke with Sheriff Dannels on Friday about what his new role will entail.

According to Sheriff Dannels, he will be representing the more than 3,000 Sheriffs in counties all across the United States. He'll be taking their border security concerns straight to Washington D.C.

In the middle of our interview tonight, Sheriff Dannels busted a driver for being in possession of marijuana. He said this is an exact example of what he's trying to stop, drug trafficking across the border.
"When 89 percent of all drugs in this country are coming through the Southern border. We know we have a problem," said Sheriff Dannels.

A problem he intends to fix under his new role as "Immigration and Border Security Chairman. He wants to see a strong and secure border in the future. He plans to educate other Sheriffs and talk with them to get a prevention plan in place and determine what enforcement tool is best.

He's already been in talks with Secretary Kelly, discussing possible types of border walls for Southern Arizona.

"I look at is as whether it's a sensory fence, virtual fence, whether it's a human-manned fence or whether it's steel. Those are just four examples of how it could look. Secretary Kelly was very embracing in wanting to hear our ideas."

When asked if he agrees with the federal government's proposal of a 30 foot concrete border wall – he said he doesn't see that being a realistic outcome.

"Everybody has got the vision that we're going to put up the wall like we see in Israel. I don't see that being the case. What I see is the will to find a balanced approach to secure this border better than what it is."

In two weeks Sheriff Dannels will be heading to Austin, TX to speak with law enforcement on southern border issues all the way from Texas to California.

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