MCSO at a Glance
Who we are: We are a law enforcement agency, headed by an elected Sheriff, Paul Penzone, which serves and protects the unincorporated areas of Maricopa County as well as several contract cities. We are part of the Maricopa County government system.
How large is the county? About 9226 square miles
How many employees work for the MCSO? Approximately 3300
How long is the Sheriff’s term? All sheriffs in Arizona are elected to serve a four-year term
How is his salary determined? All sheriffs in the state of Arizona earn the same salary of about $101,000 a year as determined by the Arizona state legislature
What is the approximate annual budget for the Sheriff’s Office? We can answer that question in two ways: the primary budget for the MCSO, the third largest Sheriff’s Office in the nation, is a combination of general fund dollars (tax dollars) and district jail tax monies or what we call the Detention Fund. That total is $328.4 million. The Sheriff’s Office also has a few other sources of revenue such as grants, monies generated from inmate canteen sales, etc. When added altogether, the 2016FY budget for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office stands at $353.4 million.
What makes the MCSO unique? How large an area we serve – it’s actually bigger than four U.S. states; Tent City – it’s the largest canvas incarceration compound in the nation. We are the only U.S. jail system to serve all vegetarian meals only. Although we live in the Sonoran desert, MCSO has one of the nation’s finest dive/water rescue teams. We have a very large all volunteer posse working in 41 different posses. We have the most technologically advanced 911 and emergency operation center in the Southwestern U.S, just to name a few.
What about your new headquarters? The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s first ever headquarters building opened in 2012. It took about two years to build and sits in downtown Phoenix, south of Jefferson Street at the intersection of 5th Avenue. The five story high building is a very modern steel and glass structure resembling a ship or arc in its design. Inside is housed all administration functions of the office, including finance, payroll, personnel, professional standards, bureau of internal oversight, the compliance division, community outreach, technology, the 911 center, and the offices of all chiefs and the Sheriff. The building also contains a small gym, a media room, an emergency operations center and an underground parking garage. The lobby is protected by security personnel during all business hours and is the site of a small historical museum of old Sheriff’s Office artifacts.