GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Bennett talks about transportation funding, economic development and working with Janet Napolitano

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is one of six Republicans seeking the GOP nomination this year. Bennett is a former Arizona Senate president and Prescott City Council member. The Weekly recently talked with him about why he’s running for governor. Here are some edited excerpts from that conversation.

To read article click link here –


UPDATE: Arizona Highway Patrol Association makes it unanimous Ken Bennett endorsed by all major Law Enforcement for Governor

A guest comment by the AZCPOA Executive Director on update of endorsements for Ken Bennett –

All Endorse Ken Bennett For Arizona State Governor

Dear AZCPOA Members,

Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association (AZCPOA) endorses Ken Bennett.
He is a battle-tested conservative that Arizona desperately needs right now. The AZCPOA has thousands of members statewide who understand that we need a conservative fighter and friend of public safety representing us as Arizona’s next Governor.

As the former Senate president, Bennett understands the importance of advocating for the law enforcement communities in Arizona. He has fought to have voters provide valid ID at the polls with Prop 200.

There’s no other candidate in the race for governor that has the experience and the proven track record to represent the voice of Arizona’s Corrections Officers in Arizona.

This is why the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association fully endorses Ken Bennett for Arizona State Governor, as does Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriff, Fraternal Order of Police, with more of 40,000 law enforcement officers. It’s not many time the we’ve agreed to endorse the same candidate, but we know he is the right man for the job. Today the Arizona Highway Patrol Association joined the elite groups to endorse Ken Bennett for Governor.

If you want someone that will fight for securing the border and public safety from police, sheriff and correctional officer’s, Bennett is the man for the job….. We are united behind Ken Bennett.

Tixoc Munoz
AZCPOA Executive Director

Charles Ryan: The Republic’s editorial board misrepresented our response to the assault of a prison employee.

Regarding what I believe to be a misrepresentation of the Arizona Department of Corrections’ response to an assault on one of its own employees, (“Is rape an acceptable risk for teachers? We think not,” Editorial, Saturday):

On Jan. 30, a staff member at the Eyman corrections complex in Florence was brutally assaulted by an inmate. As the Department of Corrections reported in news releases that day and the following, a criminal investigation was immediately launched with the goal of pursuing prosecution of the inmate suspect to the fullest extent. In May, the inmate was indicted by a grand jury on charges including sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Contrary to The Republic editorial board’s assertion of indifference, every assault against staff and inmates is reviewed extensively and thoroughly investigated. In fact, when I returned as director in January of 2009, I changed the previous policy and ordered that all physical actions taken by inmates against staff or other inmates be reported and investigated, whether an injury occurred or not. This sends the strong message that every assault is intolerable.

Obviously, this incident at Eyman was a despicable and cowardly act — a fact clearly stated by this department when the documents from the criminal investigation were released to the news media.

MORE: Agency reviewing safety after rape

But an Associated Press story published June 22 in The Arizona Republic indicated, “Prison officials dismissed the concerns. They say assault is a risk that comes with the job of overseeing violent inmates.” This is not a department quote. It’s the description by the AP reporter.

Department practice is quite the opposite. Staff and inmate safety is our highest priority — a fact reflected and borne out by ongoing training and assessment of security protocols. Significant focus is given to ensuring that all staff remain vigilant that any inmate, regardless of custody level or prior criminal history, can turn violent.
Charles Ryan

DOC employees are neglected for a raise this year's budget

DOC employees are neglected for a raise this year’s budget

Such self-examination is ingrained in the daily work of the Department of Corrections. It results in decisions to create sector officers who conduct security checks on staff working in isolated areas; random physical, visual, radio and phone checks of such sectors; implementation of chemical-agent and hand-held radio training; addition of cameras where appropriate; and numerous other security measures that are constantly being reviewed.

Reporting on corrections can be tainted by sensationalism. Each assault in prison is thoroughly reviewed and investigated, and those responsible are held accountable administratively or criminally for their actions.

The safety of our staff and inmates has been, and always will be, my commitment and first priority.

Charles L. Ryan is director of the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Workplace Factors – Has Chuck Ryan kept his promise to make the DOC better?


It has long been established that in 2007, the Arizona Department of Corrections lost a large number of full time employee positions that have never been regained or reallocated. However, at the same time, turnover, attrition factors have not been adequately addressed by both the agency and the Legislature as the agency continues to run below authorized staffing levels and no relief is in sight.

“What has taken place in ADC has been a major shift in the staffing requirements for the units: particularly at medium and close custody units. The focus has been on staff and inmate safety, as well as security.”

“The Director ordered and has restored 193 security staff to the housing units and cell blocks through the use of overtime. This effort on his part has led to the Governor’s budget recommending the restoration of 306 correctional officer positions over 3 years.”

(This was a temporary solution and no longer feasible due to lack of overtime funding)

This is not an ideal solution to the problem, but it is a significant improvement over the staffing situation that resulted from the abolishment of 565 security FTE’s under the former Director.

Since that time of the Reduction in Force implementation, staffing patterns and rosters have severely suffered in numbers and many security posts were either eliminated or combined into other security posts. This has impacted the agency’s ability to prevent, intervene or even observe crimes committed inside prisons and unreported.

This merging of post also resulted in the merging or re-assignment of duties to other staff include educational staff such as librarians, teachers and counselors. This transition weakened the security practices as many staff had never received any additional training or equipment prior to the delegation of new responsibilities.

This transition has also opened up the vulnerability of staff as they are now more spread out and doing more tasks according to institutional schedules and movement demands. While at the same time, security functions have been reduced or minimized due to under staffing or lack of resources to perform the jobs as before but still outlined as a requirement per Post Orders and policies and procedures.

The biggest diminishing area is supervisory control via rosters and staffing. The mid-level manager level has appalling attendance as well as an atrocious record keeping inexcusable roster management to include RDO balancing for the max security presence. Almost nil comprehension of how to even achieve the above. They auto fill rosters and sign leave slips letting the chips fall where they may…….rarely is it ever questioned.

The following are examples of diminished security practices:

• Intel gathering on open and closed yards
• Prosecution of staff assaults
• Restitution efforts for staff assaults
• Feeding times in excess of 5 hrs. per meal
• PACE\MAP documentation in a timely manner
• Basic security functions such as looking for living breathing bodies
• Quarterly searches not being completed as required in PO
• Sanitary inspections (704) non existent
• Limited access to program staff
• Ingress/egress lax procedures
• Key accountability practices have decreased dramatically
• Inmate accountability practices
• Fence tie process/accountability along w KOP medical equipment accountability
• Inmate access to secure areas w/o proper security measures
• Elimination of essential security posts to meet staffing shortages
• Disproportionate importance on spontaneous [lack of planning] security functions that draw staff away from primary observation or vigilance duties on the yard and other areas of the institution.

Looking at vulnerability factors we can compare inmate on staff assaults for the past five (5) years and you will see a definite pattern of concern as the numbers are astonishing and horrific in growth.

We were observing increasing numbers of assaults on inmates, including those with serious negative outcomes, as well as assaults on staff in housing units and cell blocks. A common denominator was that many security posts were not adequately manned and there was no staff to act as observation to “back” the officer on the “floors” with the inmates.

Since Director Ryan had been responsible for the original staffing justification for most of these standardized prison unit designs, and we had worked in or managed these prototypical units, it was obvious to us that the abolishment of staff positions had led to under-staffing in the housing units and cell blocks.

In fact, these units were being operated with a single officer, as opposed to the minimum safe level of one officer in the “box” or control room/officer’s station, and one on the “floor” to rove back and forth between the “runs” or “pods”.

(This practice has also been discontinued with the use of “sector” officers rather than control and rover positions as it was originally designed and staffed.)
This is largely contributed to poor prison management practices and the lack of staff available to handle routine situations that seem to escalate quickly due to overcrowded living conditions and reduced inmate programs since 2009 leaving many inmates unemployed and idle.

In addition, drug abuse and substance abuse treatment programs have also been reduced while the growth of gangs has increased exponentially over the years.

*FY 2014 as of 05/31/2014 ASSAULTS ON STAFF

                                          FY 10   FY 11    FY 12    FY 13   FY 14*
ADC Staff                          329      362       343         335       372
Contract Beds Staff              21       20        34            23        36
Totals                                  350     382      377           358      408

  In Director’s Charles Ryan’s introduction memo dated 02/03/2009 to ADC employees he states in part:

“In other words, we will become informed first, involve employees in the decision making process, and strive to fully understand the impact of decisions may have upon you. We will be guided by some fairly simply “basic to basics” questions: (Give me a break please)

- Is it legal ethical or moral? Ryan makes this a multiple choice or did he?
- Does it serve to further our core mission? Does he really care?
- Does it qualify as sound correctional practice? What difference does it make?
- Does it produce positive outcomes? Really?
- Does it eliminate unnecessary work which does not contribute to positive outcomes or our core mission? LOL
- Have we respected our employees and other constituent groups in the process and our actions? Do you feel respect?

As you know we, as an agency are facing some extremely challenging times, given the budget deficit and the timing of the transition in agency leadership. We cannot tell you that things will be easy, however, you can rest assured that we will continue to advocate for you, strive for safety and security and make the best possible decisions, informed by as many of those affected by those decisions as we can. I cannot tell you that we will always succeed in getting you the resources you need or deserve, but we are confident in the ability of the agency and our fine employees who perform professionally and effectively to protect the public, all employees and the inmates over whom we have custody to the best of our abilities.”

Now you tell me, does he have your confidence as the director or do we need to change administration and leadership?

Doug Ducey Demolition Derby – What will happen to the ADOC if Ducey is Elected?


The news is out – State Treasurer has been working on a budget and reduction plan that will wreck the DOC. Ducey has a plan to reduce Arizona Department of Corrections staffing and tamper with retirement and benefits to curb spending plan.

He does not take into account what the DOC has missing for the last seven years. No raises and selective stipends have demolished morale and pay checks.

He has no idea what you as corrections employees have endured and experienced as state employees neglected for years and now being threatened with a reduction in force plan and higher retirement contributions as well as mandatory age plus time of service to collect benefits.

Remember no raises in the plan for Ducey if eleceted. NO Raiser NO condsiderion for compassion and understanding.

Why Vote? A message from one of the labor groups / organizations representing DOC

Why Vote?  A message from one of the labor groups / organizations representing DOC

Dear AZCPOA Members,

The right to vote is one of the most cherished rights of being a citizen in the United States. Being a citizen of Arizona adds to this right a responsibility to vote for the right reasons that may determine your own future as well as your family and friends.
How you vote is important because the process alone preserves your rights. Yes we tend to abandon our right to vote and give the power to somebody else who has an agenda opposite of yours. Don’t let this happen this election – Get involved and participate in the process. It is now or never for bringing change to Arizona Department of Corrections.
Ken Bennett has been a life-long friend of law enforcement and corrections. He has taken the time to listen and understand your plight and your dreams. He knows your needs and wants to give you an opportunity to attain the kind of change that will make your life, your career and your family successful and happy.
What does voting for Ken Bennett give you? Ken Bennett is dedicated to:
· Preserve your retirement status and not alter your benefits and contribution ratio
· Preserve your training and self-development opportunities equally
· Work to get you a pay raise that is long overdue and stabilize your wages
· Improve workplace conditions and implement safety requirements by ADOSH
· Dedicate human resources to add more officers to the prison yards
· Bring new methods to reduce workplace violence and empathy for employee assistance
· Bring empowerment back to employees to face difficult challenges
· Give hope for change and allow a successful career plan to develop
· Stabilize your workplace and get rid of bureaucratic red tape and unfair practices
Change cannot and will not happen without action. Action is required for change to happen. Today, think about tomorrow and make it brighter and better. Register to vote and become involved. If you are already registered participate and learn what Ken Bennett can do for you. Share your feelings and hopes with others and encourage them to get off the fence and vote for Ken Bennett and change. It’s time the membership rises to the occasion and lead this change. We have the numbers and we have the energy so there is no reason for failure. We can and will win.
Vote for Ken Bennett as our next Governor of Arizona – your destiny is in your hands. …. Don’t forget August 26 is the elections for republican..

Tixoc Munoz
AZCPOA Executive Director

Elections 2014 – Bennett in the Lead – Brighter Tomorrow – CHANGES COMING SOON

Elections 2014

Ken Bennett is barred by term limits from running for re-election as secretary of state in 2014.
In 2011, he began exploring a possible 2014 run for Governor of Arizona, and redirected his 2010 campaign website to Bennett2014.com, though which his campaign committee got an early start organizing events, volunteers, and fundraising for the election in 2014. Bennett tweeted “Before you hear it from somewhere else, I formed an exploratory committee for Governor in 2014. Looking forward to everyone’s feedback.

Ken Bennett finally announced his candidacy for governor on September 18, 2013, and filed for the election the following April.[5] He is seeking the Republican nomination in the primary on August 26, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

This translates into two things:




Not only is the warden’s sec not being reviewed for her actions she is reportedly living w a member of the complex staff. Is this why she is allowed to consort w ex inmates and a parolee blatantly in social media? Is she immune from what the SSU staff had to endure because of her affiliation with warden and other staff she reputedly has rented room too?

If she had uniform it is a given what would occur but her location and associations make it a different story……..but of course who knows the truth because no one wishes to know………2 sides to every challenge coin