Paul Penzone is a career Phoenix police officer who earned national and international recognition for his leadership in the capture of high-value fugitives and take down of drug trafficking organizations. Since his retirement, Paul has dedicated his time to helping child abuse victims and preventing root causes of criminal activity through counseling services to young children.
As Sheriff, Paul will work to make Maricopa County the safest community in America. He’ll demand accountability at the top, practice results-based policing, and eliminate wasteful spending so we can put more deputies on the streets.
Paul’s interest in law enforcement began at an early age. As a student at Phoenix’s Cortez High School, Paul volunteered at the Justice Courts as a constable, where he watched the criminal justice system firsthand. He studied Criminal Justice at Glendale Community College and Northern Arizona University before joining the Phoenix Police Department in 1988. Paul went on to serve a decorated 21-year career, beginning as a patrol officer and rising through the ranks to manage the successful Silent Witness program that helped catch two serial killers.
Throughout his career, Paul was recognized as a tough as nails cop with the unique ability to manage and defuse the worst of situations, and get results that kept families safe. His work in drug enforcement earned him national acclaim and his management of the Silent Witness Program was recognized internationally when he was named Program Coordinator of the Year by Crime Stoppers International, the governing body for more than 4,000 Crime Stoppers programs worldwide. Paul was also recognized as Task Force Agent of the Year for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association for his work to dismantle a large meth distribution syndicate.
His belief that cohesive, trust-based community relationships with law enforcement prevent crime led Paul to develop programs to strengthen police operations through collaborative partnerships with multiple public safety agencies, media, local businesses and community leaders.
Following his police career, Paul joined Childhelp, a national non-profit organization that provides prevention education and services for child victims of abuse, neglect and sexual abuse.
Paul continues to speak out about how we can better keep our children and families safe. He frequently appears on multiple news outlets and radio shows to address issues such as solving crimes, delivering safety tips, education for families, child advocacy, safety and community service.