The Cochise County Board of Supervisors has recently approved $700,000 as a part of the Stone Garden grant, which will allow the sheriff's office to continue its security operations in the border region.
The grant, which is funded by the federal government, is used for the welfare of the officers who assist the U.S. Border Patrol in the detection and arrest of people who smuggle humans and drugs across the Mexican border.
“What we’ve seen from last year’s statistics is that when it comes to bodies coming across the border, we have low numbers,” Cochise County Chief Deputy Thad Smith said. “It’s starting to creep up this year, but we are trying to keep that level of activity suppressed, which is why Stone Garden is so critical.”
Of the grant amount, $375,000 has been paid to deputies for overtime and around $240,000 has been spent at local businesses and services targeted to the economic development of Arizona. The remainder has been used for mileage and employer-related expenses like FICA, workers' compensations and elevated retirement costs with special care to all the previous concerns of the overtime on the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.