Messages from Sheriff Dannels

January, 2014


After serving in Cochise County since 1984, it is a true honor and blessing to have been elected as your 26th Sheriff.   The legacy of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office is rich in history and serves as a legacy agency for all that have previously and currently serve our mission.  I am proud to call Cochise County my home and to have the distinct privilege to serve for some of the best people that have too called Cochise County their home.

As your Sheriff, I have established an organizational culture based on trust, transparency and teamwork supported by professionalism and a high standard of quality of service.   Our three primary objectives are Organizational Development (embracing our employees), Border Security and Community Outreach in hopes of building partnerships and relationships to sustain our mission for all the citizens and guests of Cochise County.

Our valued partnerships with our fellow law enforcement agencies and citizens are vital to our mission and quality of life that we all cherish and embrace.  We will continue to work toward the betterment of organization to ensure that we are doing business in a way that is most effective and efficient.

I do not take my constitutionally elected office for granted.  I serve for and with the people of Cochise County in a manner that represents their best interests to guarantee their freedoms and liberties.  As a Sheriff for all the people, I am vigilant in my duties and responsibilities to do what is right, not what is always popular. 

I have an open door policy for all that work with me and for those I serve.  Please take some time to visit your Sheriff’s Office as the men and women of Sheriff’s Office are the backbone to our successes.   I encourage each one of you to get to know these great folks as their dedicated efforts are why your Sheriff’s Office is leading the way.


Thank You for Your Support,

Mark J. Dannels 

February, 2013

On Tuesday February 12, 2013 Cochise County we held a Promotional Ceremony for those individuals who recently made rank from within the organization. The ceremony was my way of allowing for public recognition to those who worked hard to be selected to fill vacancies and to be a positive influence for the Sheriff’s Office.

Those in attendance for promotion had friends, family, and loved ones there to participate in a badge pinning process and to enjoy refreshments at the end of the evening.

Attached is a photo of the personnel who were promoted as follows:

Front Row: (left to right)

Monica Campbell, Communications Senior

Thad Smith, Chief Deputy

Mark Dannels, Sheriff

Sean Gijanto, Lieutenant Willcox/Benson

Richard Morales, Lieutenant Investigations/NET


Back Row: (left to right)

Forest Hauser, Commander Patrol Division

John Filippelli, Sergeant Benson District

Daniel Romero, Sergeant Douglas District

Mark Genz, Commander Administration/Support Services

Michael Finch, Sergeant Sierra Vista District

Randall Wilson, Sergeant Sierra Vista District

John Gjerde, Sergeant Elfrida District

Curtis Wilkins, Lieutenant Sierra Vista District

Ken Foster, Lieutenant Bisbee/Douglas District

Promotion Ceremony 2 12 13 BOS 144.jpg

 We encourage everyone to join us is congratulating all of these fine employees in their Promotions and their future!


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February 5, 2013

I feel blessed, humbled and honored to have been elected Sheriff of Cochise County. I began my term as the Sheriff on January 1, 2013 and it has been a busy and productive month for all.

We have made several promotions and everyone is already working hard at continuing to make the Sheriff’s Office the best it can be in service to our community.

We are conducting a process for new hires.  It is anticipated that over 100 people will apply for deputy sheriff positions within the department.  It is critical that we hire the most qualified personnel.

Master Deputy Hadfield has been assigned as a Community Resources Deputy and her job is to make contact throughout the community.  MD Hadfield is and will continue making contact with all schools in the county to assess their security and training needs and to enlighten them on the services we can provide from a public safety standpoint.  MD Hadfield is also responsible for coordinating other events throughout the community such as with civic organizations, clubs, and government agencies.  If you have questions of MD Hadfield reference community activities, she can be reached at (520) 803-3286, and additional information is available on the Sheriff’s Office website under the Community Services tab.

The command staff and I have been making visits throughout the county.  We have valuable contacts with the majority of our federal partners as well as some of the local law enforcement agencies, rural communities, and civic groups.

Programs planned in the newer future include a Border Interdiction Team as well as a Ranch Patrol.  These units will serve to liaison with our federal and community partners regarding border issues, and provide a steady means of communication between the Sheriff’s Office and the ranching community.  These teams will also enforce laws with an emphasis along the border and address other problem areas.  Staffing for these specialized assignments will be done after backfilling our vacant positions through the hiring process.

In the month of January, the Sheriff’s Office responded to almost 1500 calls for service or an estimated 50 calls per day everyday throughout Cochise County.

The Sex Offender Unit was also out throughout the month and attempted to make, or made contact with 21 registered sex offenders. Out of those 21 we identified one absconder (someone who was in violation of registration requirements), eight level 3 (high risk), eight level 2 (medium risk), and three level 1 (low risk) offenders.

Our Animal Control Division is staffed with five Animal Control Officers to cover all of the county areas and they have kept busy responding to 244 animal calls.

Our continued goal is to perform our duties in the most efficient manner possible and to maintain the oath we took to protect and serve all of the citizens in Cochise County.  I look forward to fulfilling our mission and to being responsive to your needs as your Sheriff.

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January 28, 2013

"To my fellow citizens of Cochise County and the United States of America,

Recently, I have spoken to several of my fellow citizens in Cochise County who have voiced to me their concerns and fears with the President’s recent decision to issue a number of executive orders aimed at gun control. Realizing the importance of this matter, I feel it is necessary to publish my official position on our Second Amendment rights, and what role I and my Office will have in this matter.

First, let me say, my heart goes out to the families and survivors of the tragic event in Connecticut, and to all those who may have lost loved ones in past violent acts. However, if history has taught us anything it is this; solely blaming firearms for acts of violence is not the answer. In my opinion, it amounts to nothing more than a play on emotions in an attempt to pacify the immediate outcry, and is a disservice to those we, as elected officials, are sworn to serve and protect.

As Sheriff, I was elected by the citizens of Cochise County to represent them and their interest. I and my Deputies shall not be used as a surrogate of any government entity to violate the civil rights of the citizens of this great Nation. My loyalty lies within the oath of the Sheriff’s Office, which reads, in part, as follows: “I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Arizona; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies whatsoever, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office of Sheriff, according to the best of my ability so help me God.”

If I have learned anything during my twenty-nine years as a lawman, it is this; education, prevention, and enforcement are the three keys to successful crime prevention. We are a Nation of laws designed to protect our citizens, establish peace and order, and above all preserve the Constitutional liberties of all. With that said, no one person or branch of government can single handedly solve the complex issues of crime prevention. There must be a collaborative effort on the part of Law Enforcement and our Judicial, Educational, Medical, and Legislative partners to develop a comprehensive crime prevention strategy, which takes into account all of the contributing factors, not just the most convenient.

In closing, while I respect our Nation’s elected Offices, as the duly elected Sheriff for the citizens of Cochise County, I and my Office will ensure the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of Cochise County are not infringed upon and will not permit any official, federal or otherwise, to attempt to do so.


January 18, 2013

We are being inundated with citizen inquiries on where the Sheriff stands on the Second Amendment and the right to own firearms.  The Sheriff is in the process of preparing an official statement on this issue which we will post on our webpage and facebook.

Your Sheriff was elected by the citizens of Cochise County and no one else.  Your Sheriff's Office will not be used as a surrogate to violate the civil rights of the citizens of our great Nation.  The oath of the Sheriff's Office reads in part as follows; "I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Arizona; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies whatsoever, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the office of Deputy Sheriff, according to the best of my ability so help me God."