Clarence Dupnik

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Clarence Dupnik
Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona
In office
Preceded byRichard J. Boykin
Succeeded byChris Nanos
Personal details
Born (1936-01-11) January 11, 1936 (age 83)
Helena, Texas
Political partyDemocratic

Clarence William Dupnik (born January 11, 1936) is a retired American law enforcement official. Dupnik was appointed Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, in February 1980 to fill a vacancy rising from the resignation of his predecessor, Richard Boykin.

He won election in his own right in September 1980, and has been re-elected every four years since. Dupnik is a member of the Democratic party. Dupnik retired from the Pima County Sheriff's Office in 2015.

Life and career[edit]

Dupnik was born in Helena, Texas, and grew up in Bisbee, Arizona. He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. He graduated from polygraph training school Keeler Institute in Chicago, the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, and the Urban Affairs Executive Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He joined the Tucson Police Department in 1958, as a Patrol Officer, eventually rising to Major in charge of Field Operations. In 1977 he was appointed Chief Deputy with the Pima County Sheriff's Department, and in 1980 he was appointed Sheriff. He was elected seven times to four-year terms as Sheriff.[1]

Because Pima County shares a border with Mexico, Dupnik's office handles a wide range of illegal immigration[2] and drug trafficking matters.[3] He won the contest to name the Tucson Toros baseball team.[4]

On June 22, 2011, Dupnik announced he would be dedicating about 20 officers to a task force to jail people for letting off fireworks on the 4th of July, to protect against sparking new wildfires.[5]

Political views[edit]

Dupnik was a vocal opponent of Arizona's anti-illegal immigrant bill SB 1070. In April 2010, Dupnik criticized the law, calling it "racist", "disgusting", and "stupid".[6]

In September 2010, Dupnik criticized the Tea Party movement at an immigration forum, publicly claiming the movement was associated with bigotry.[7]

Killing of Jose Guerena[edit]

Dupnik received worldwide criticism over his defense of the botched SWAT team raid of Jose Guerena that left the former Marine dead. Dupnik openly stated that the raid was justified and told Arizona Daily Star columnist Josh Brodesky that he may never release the search warrants and police affidavits.[8] Dupnik defended the police who left Guerena, after being shot 60 times in 7 seconds, inside his house while paramedics were prevented from entering for over an hour.[citation needed]

2011 Tucson shooting[edit]

Dupnik's office was responsible for security and later oversaw local response and investigation of the 2011 Tucson shooting. Dupnik stated that he felt that the level of vitriol in political discourse created an atmosphere where violence was likely. "It's not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. That's the sad thing about what's going on in America: pretty soon we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."[9]

Conservatives criticized Dupnik's comments as misplaced and uninformed.[10] In an interview with Megyn Kelly, Dupnik stated that he had not seen evidence linking the shooting to discussions in the media, but believed the issue had to be raised.[11]


  1. ^ "Sheriff Dupnik 'not political by nature'". CNN. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Crewdson, John M. (July 10, 1980). "14 Rescued in Desert Are Named; Victims May Not Be Identifiable", New York Times; accessed May 3, 2017.
  3. ^ Associated Press (April 22, 1989). Mexican Suspect Held In Torture Deaths of 12, New York Times; accessed May 3, 2017.
  4. ^ Tucson Toros 1997 Media Guide. Tucson: Tucson Toros Baseball Club, 1997.
  5. ^ Bud Foster. "Dupnik: Use fireworks, go directly to jail - Tucson News Now". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  6. ^ "The Dupnik rebellion: Pima's top cop says "no" to SB 1070". Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  7. ^ Rhonda Bodfield (2010-09-20). "Pueblo Politics: Dupnik calls tea party members bigots". Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  8. ^ "Josh Brodesky: Guerena family deserves an answer". Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  9. ^ Hulse, Carl and Zernike, Kate (January 8, 2011). Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics, New York Times; accessed May 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (January 11, 2011). "Have gun, Will talk: Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik not speechless over Tucson shootings or much else". Los Angeles News. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
  11. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (2011-01-09). "Megyn Kelly Debates Sheriff Clarence Dupnik About His Comments On Arizona Shooting (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-01-12.

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