FLORENCE — Fans of the hit A&E show "Live PD" in Pinal County will get a chance to meet the local stars at an upcoming event put on by the Sheriff's Office.
Those who attend the Pinal County Sheriff's Office event will be able to meet and take photos with the deputies as well as ask questions about law enforcement. There will be food trucks and recruiters for PCSO and the county, along with bounce houses on a site for the kids. It will be set up as a public safety event, with SWAT, search and rescue, and K9 teams there to showcase the different aspects of the department.
The event will raise money for the Benevolent Fund and the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund. These funds support staff morale and those going through hardships. For the MWR fund, this can range from simple gestures to boost morale like catering food and offering movie nights, to paying for awards dinners.
The Benevolent Fund helps employees who are going through hardships. Employees can request these funds and the use is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Past uses have included helping with medical bills or paying an employee's rent to avoid eviction.
“We are a tight-knit group,” PCSO spokeswoman Navideh Forghani said. “We are doing this because we get a ton of requests. … What a great way to give back to our deputies without costing taxpayers money.”
Forghani said PCSO decided to join "Live PD" in order to improve transparency, community ties and to help with recruitment.
“We felt having PCSO showcased on 'Live PD' was an opportunity to show people what a deputy's day is like while on patrol and showcase the agency. This event is taking that concept to the next level,” Forghani wrote in an email to PinalCentral. “If those interactions inspire someone to join PCSO, that is an added bonus.”
Sheriff Mark Lamb said that the overall experience with "Live PD" has been positive, and that while the agency hasn't discussed details with the show's producers, he would be open to renewing the contract.
“I think it has been great for the county in general,” Lamb said. “People in Arizona don’t know where Pinal County is, let alone across this country. People thinking about coming to visit Arizona or moving to Arizona, we’ve put Pinal County on the forefront of places in Arizona.”
According to Lamb, "Live PD" is very professional and non-intrusive while deputies are doing their jobs and films the show primarily from car cameras.
“Anytime you're doing something like that, the spotlight has its effects. Once you put yourself out there, you are talked about on Twitter, every call you go to is critiqued," Lamb said. "That can weigh heavy on these guys, but they’ve done a really good job of handling that. … ("Live PD") showcases that we have great deputies and great staff.”
The fundraiser will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. June 2 at PCSO's San Tan Valley substation, 40815 N. Ironwood Drive.