Gov. Katie Hobbs announces $41M for border county law enforcement, $8M for broadband access


SIERRA VISTA — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced more than $41 million in funding for Cochise County law enforcement agencies to help them pursue border-related crimes during a visit to Sierra Vista on Wednesday. Hobbs met with Cochise County law enforcement and elected officials at Cochise College’s Sierra Vista Campus to announce the funding, which included an additional $8 million for broadband access in the county. Nearly $36 million of the funds will go to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, according to figures provided by Hobbs’ office. Police departments, including Bisbee and Tombstone, will receive over $5.5 million of the funding.Hobbs emphasized the importance of using the funds to meet the needs of each community and not utilizing them for “political stunts.”“Our rural communities have been strained and are frequently expected to perform tasks without being provided the necessary tools,” Hobbs said. “Specifically on the border, every single city deals with the residual effects of thousands of migrants that come through every day.” Cochise County officials previously raised concerns about high-speed vehicle pursuits, resulting from human smuggling events, that traverse the county and endanger residents. In the past, Cochise College officials voiced concerns about migrants crossing through campus after they cross the border that is just over 22 miles away.Cochise County concerns:Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says Homeland Security not ready for end of border restrictionThe funding for the Sheriff’s Office will go toward incarceration, equipment and personnel costs, according to Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.  The announcement in Sierra Vista is the latest round of funding that Hobbs has allocated toward the state’s rural border communities in recent weeks. The money comes from the state’s $544 million Border Security Fund, which was created by lawmakers and former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in 2022. The majority of the fund, $335 million, was earmarked for the construction and maintenance of a physical border fence alongside the installation of border security …

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