Guadalupe, seeking other providers for law enforcement services following a fight with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, has contacted Tempe officials to gauge their interest.
“The geographical locations of our cities and the mobility of 911 services make (Tempe) a logical solution,” Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez said in a letter hand-delivered last month to her Tempe counterpart, Hugh Hallman.
In turn, Hallman forwarded to City Manager Charlie Meyer the request by Jimenez for a meeting.
On June 17, Meyer replied to Guadalupe officials, saying he is open to a meeting but a conference has yet to be scheduled.
Guadalupe has also contacted Phoenix, and that city’s police department is looking into the possibility.
Jimenez did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment.
The town, with a population of about 5,200, is surrounded on three sides by Tempe with Phoenix to its west, across Interstate 10.
Guadalupe has been policed by sheriff’s deputies for more than 20 years, and its current contract is worth almost $1.2 million annually.
But bad blood built up over two days in April during Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s well-publicized “crime suppression” sweep there. Guadalupe is predominantly Hispanic, leading to accusations against Arpaio of racial profiling.
The sweeps resulted in the arrests of five illegal immigrants, as deputies checked the legal status of each person stopped on suspicion of a crime or traffic violations.
Arpaio has said he will pull out unless the town tells him it still wants coverage. If the town ends the contract, or if it does not reaffirm its support, Arpaio will move ahead with terminating the contract, which can be done by either party with 180 days’ notice, he has said.
Even without a contract, the sheriff’s office has jurisdiction throughout the county and can continue to conduct sweeps and other police operations in the town, as it has in Phoenix and Mesa.