Guadalupe leaders will discuss whether to end the town’s contract with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office during a special meeting tonight.
The meeting comes days after the sheriff’s office touted the arrests of 11 suspected illegal immigrants in Guadalupe, and nearly a week after deputies cited the town’s mayor for minor traffic violations.
“If they decide they want us gone, then we’re ready to leave quickly,” Arpaio said Tuesday afternoon.
Talk of replacing the sheriff’s office has been ongoing since Arpaio’s deputies swept through this small town in March in an effort to capture those suspected of living in the country illegally.
During the two-day operation, Mayor Rebecca Jimenez accused the sheriff of racial profiling and asked Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon if his city’s officers would police the town. Currently, Guadalupe pays the sheriff’s office about $1.2 million a year for services.
Arpaio said there would be no financial backlash if the town cut its ties with the department, despite its much-publicized budget problems. In fact, he said it would free up more deputies who could then be used in his crackdown on illegal immigrants across the Valley.
Tonight’s meeting is open to the public.