#JusticeinPimaCounty: Week 53
This first week of 2022 had me thinking about the first week of 2021, which was also the inaugural week of this administration. I started reflecting on all the significant changes the Office has gone through and, frankly, all the ways I’m experiencing déjà vu.
Last year at this time, the Legal Services Building had to completely shut down for the first time in the building’s history for two days, and almost all of our employees telecommuted for several weeks thereafter due to a very serious Covid outbreak. We were in transition from the prior administration and scrambling to help prosecutors access paper files so they could work from home.
Unlike last year, thanks to the quick and intense work of the County, the Health Dept., County Administration (Lisa Royal, Drs. Cullen and Garcia, and in particular Chuck Huckelberry and Jan Lesher) and the Board of Supervisors, our employees received their shots and reached a 92% vaccination rate. What’s more, 100% of PCAO employees who work with vulnerable populations are vaccinated, which means we avoided any terminations by the County deadline. I could not be more proud or honored to work with these employees here. They ALWAYS put the public first, and this is just another fine example.
What is also different this week from last year is that we are moving closer to becoming a paperless agency, thanks to a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and, again, the Board of Supervisors and County Admin. We have a site visit this month with Prosecutor by Karpel to launch the process.
– With the 55th Arizona State Legislature convening next week for the 2022 session, I spent a large part of this week meeting with my team and community stakeholders on various topics that will be passionately debated by lawmakers, including several of my priorities for reform. We’ll be strong advocates for cash bail reform, as well as expanding expungement opportunities and earned release credits for people serving time in state prisons. We’ll have more to share over the coming months.
– Lastly, we launched our nomination process for our first Community Safety Awards, which will be announced sometime in February. You can nominate someone in your neighborhood, at work, or in your family who you think has done an exemplary job creating real community safety in Pima County. Visit www.pcao.pima.gov/safety-awards to submit your nomination. The deadline is Feb. 1st!
Last year the rains of the monsoons were a highlight, and the rains of the winter holidays still leave snow-capped peaks out our PCAO windows. La lluvia del desierto es un milagro. Rain in the desert is a miracle. And that’s a great way to greet 2022.
To be continued,