Wake County is fortunate not to have Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I used to live in Maricopa County, Arizona, which is Arizona’s most populous county and also home to Phoenix. Maricopa County is huge, about as large as the entire state of New Hampshire.
In the “incorporated” areas – Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and so on – police departments for each municipality generally enforce the law. But there are large unincorporated parts of the county where the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is the law enforcement agency.
A similar situation exists in Wake County, where the sheriff’s office conducts investigations and patrols in unincorporated parts of the county. For instance, Cary Police Department and Apex Police Department and the Raleigh Police Department handle their individual municipal areas. But the Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) patrols the unincorporated portions of the county, in addition to running the jails and detention facilities and providing deputies to keep order in the Wake County Courthouse.
Fortunately we don’t have Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio has run the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office since the 1990s, and in that time has gotten a national profile by being tough on crime: for instance, he feeds them green bologna and makes them wear pink underwear. Ha ha, very funny.
Anyway, he’s also been accused of intimidating political opponents, intimidating judges, harassing journalists who write critical things of him. In sum, thuggish tactics.