Meet Your Sheriff

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Mark J. Dannels

“Sheriff for All the People”

On November 6th, 2012, Mark J. Dannels was elected by the citizens of Cochise County to serve as their 26th Sheriff.

Sheriff Mark J. Dannels is a veteran of law enforcement with over 30 years of service.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Aspen University and is a Certified Public Manager from Arizona State University.  He has over 3000 hours of law enforcement training in his portfolio.  He attended Disney’s Leadership and Executive Training programs and is a graduate of the Rural Executive Management Institute. He began his law enforcement career in 1984 after serving a successful tour in the U.S. Army.  He progressed through the ranks with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office to the position of Deputy Commander after working numerous specialty assignments and leadership roles.  He was instrumental in the creation of the Southeastern Arizona D.U.I. Task Force and the Special Operations Unit.  He was instrumental in proposing and being awarded over 1 million dollars in grant funding to assist the Sheriff’s Office.  He was appointed by former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to the D.U.I. Oversight Commission and later elected to the position of Chairman.  In 2008, he retired from Arizona law enforcement to accept an opportunity to serve as the Police Chief for the City of Coquille in Oregon to build upon his leadership base.  During his tenure as police chief, Sheriff Dannels was instrumental in solving a decade old murder case involving a local teenager that help restore community trust.  Additionally, he revitalized professionalism and standardization within the department.  During Sheriff Dannels’ time in Oregon, he volunteered every 3 months and worked as a reserve deputy sheriff for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office by flying back to Arizona to fulfill his commitment and required hours.  After a successful endeavor as Police Chief, Sheriff Dannels moved back to Arizona in 2011 to rejoin the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office to pursue his goal of being sheriff.

Sheriff Dannels is a long time member of the Fraternal Order of Police, current member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and serves on several community service groups; San Pedro Kiwanis, Just Kids Inc., CASA, Sierra Vista Elks, the Boys and Girls Club of Sierra Vista, the varsity wrestling coach at Buena High School, and instructs at Wayland Baptist University. Sheriff Dannels participates in many community outreach programs such as Project Graduation, Sizzle, Stocking Stuffers, Community Haunted House, and Shop with a Cop.

Sheriff Dannels has received numerous awards during his tenure that include the Medal of Valor, National Lifesaving award, American Police Hall of Fame Commendation, Deputy of the Year, MADD Recognition for Outstanding Efforts in Drunk Driving Enforcement, Fraternal Order of Police Member of the Year, Distinguished Service Award, Unit Citation Award, Sheriff’s Medal, League of United Latin American Citizens and F.B.I. Community Service Award, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Outstanding Deputy of the Year, Chamber of Commerce Positivity Award, and the Rotary Club Community Service Award. 

Sheriff Dannels is married to Nickie, who is a Registered Nurse.  They have three sons, Justin, a police officer with the City of Sierra Vista, Ryan who works as a firefighter with the Fry Fire District, and Corey, a high school student who is enjoying the life of a teenager. 

 Sheriff Dannels has 3 primary objectives:  Organizational Development, Border Security and Community Outreach.

“I Believe the Citizens of Cochise County Deserve the Best Possible Sheriff’s Office”

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