Scottsdale police Chief Alan Rodbell told a crowd of residents Thursday that it would not be the best use of his department's resources to participate in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's sweeps for illegal immigrants.
Rodbell made the comment after he was asked the question from the audience during the monthly Mayor and City Council breakfast at which Rodbell was the featured speaker.
Stressing he did not want to take shots in the newspaper, Rodbell said of Arpaio's sweeps: "That's the sheriff's business. He sees that this is something that needs to be addressed on a countywide basis, and he is the county sheriff. ..."
However, the police department would "appreciate notification" from any agency intending to conduct law enforcement activities in Scottsdale, wrote police spokesman Dave Pubins in an e-mail after the Tribune requested more information about Rodbell's position.
The e-mail did not specifically address the sheriff's office.
Earlier this month, Mesa police Chief George Gascón requested notification from Arpaio if he plans to conduct any operations in the city so his department could help minimize any civil unrest when sweeps happen.
Rodbell said if someone arrested in the city is determined to be an illegal immigrant, the department would contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"Handling immigration issues is not the best use of our resources," Rodbell said during his talk. "The problem has to be stopped by strengthening our borders and ports."
About 75 people attended Rodbell's talk at City Hall. The chief said crime rates in the city have decreased by double digits in most categories, which is attributed to vigilant residents and police targeting repeat offenders.
"You go to work in an office, and they go to work in your house," Rodbell said of criminals. "We know who these guys are, and they know we know them, and they know we're watching them.
"They're the ones doing the most damage," he said. "And when we get them off the streets, our crime rates go down and our case clearance rates go up."