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Murder, mayhem and crime now in Spanish and 50 languages on sheriff website

Bienvenido. Tere tulemast. Karibu Idara. Witamy.

Pima County Sheriff DUI unit/Ryn Gargulinski file photo
Pima County Sheriff DUI unit/Ryn Gargulinski file photo

Those are just a few of the 50-plus ways the Pima County Sheriff’s Department now welcomes us onto its website.

Those of you who like playing around on websites – or have to report a crime or get other info from the sheriff’s department – should definitely give this site a whirl.

The sheriff’s department recently revamped the site to include translations into an impressive array of different languages.

I’m partial to the French, although I also find the Swahili fun.

Of course, the most useful translation around the county will be Spanish, with a prominent button on the top right of the homepage that lets us switch easily from Welcome to Bienvenido. Select other languages through a drop-down menu on the lower right of the homepage.

Yes, I still think English should be made our country’s official language and encourage all who live here to learn to use it.

But I can also see how these translations will be incredibly helpful to the department and the general public.

Now the sheriff’s office doesn’t have to scramble to find deputies and other employees who know Greek, Icelandic, Polish, Norwegian and both traditional and simplified Chinese.

Website visitors can benefit by practicing their own foreign language skills as well as taking advantage of some of the site’s useful features:

Crime mapping
Planning a picnic out in the county? Wondering how many folks were killed on East Camino Lomas? Crime mapping lets us enter a location that is outside city limits but inside the county lines to see how much crime went down in the area during a given time frame. We can also check out where registered sex offenders are living.

Online crime reporting
This feature is a real blessing to both the general public and the department. Now we don’t have to go stand in line or wait around to fill out paperwork to report a crime. We can do it from the comfort of our own home while clad in our pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

Nixle lets us sign up to receive text messages or e-mails directly from the department, including Amber Alerts, road closure, missing persons info and all types of other interesting and useful stuff.

Perhaps the best thing about Nixle is that its name translates into “Nixle,” keeping confusion at a minimum.

Other fun features:

Inmate Lookup
No, I don’t use this feature to troll for future dates. Rather, it is quite handy for research to make sure someone is still in jail and to check how much bond he or she needs to get out.

Gotta love the energetic, compelling video in this section. It’s better than some crime shows I’ve seen. It would also make even the laziest of couch potatoes want to get up and fight county crime.

Please note: Another interesting and useful site to visit is that of the Tucson Police Department. Tucson crime statistics is definitely my favorite feature there.



Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Photo Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

Do you regularly visit the police or sheriff websites? Why?

Did you know the sheriff’s site had such fun and useful features?

What features do you like or find useful?

What other features could the sites use?

What’s your favorite local website?

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Illegal immigrant reportedly stabs teen to death for speaking English

Tucson is not the only place having tons of fun with illegal immigrant issues.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Photo Ryn Gargulinski

An illegal immigrant in Immokalee, Fla., allegedly stabbed a teen to death because the teen was guilty of a most heinous offense, according to a report by Brent Batten in the Naples News.

The teen, 17-year-old Charlie Guzman, was brazen enough to speak English, right here in America.

Death may have seemed the only logical consequence.

Guzman and some of his friends went to hang out in an apartment building’s laundry room around 3 a.m. on Dec. 21, the report says, when they encountered illegal immigrant Mauricio Escalante, 33, and two others who were already there.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Photo Ryn Gargulinski

The two groups started talking, then arguing, because Guzman and his pals were speaking English instead of Spanish.

Escalante reportedly ran to a nearby apartment and came back with a knife. Goodbye Guzman.

“So much for the notion that illegal immigrants are universally a hard-working, law abiding set committed to doing the jobs Americans won’t do, all while trying to assimilate,” Batten said.

He does admit that many fit that mold, but there are bound to be some rotten apples.

Guzman’s murder came on the heels of a two-part Naples News story explaining the Collier County sheriff’s program that targets illegal immigrants that break the law and deports them, Batten explained. More than 2,000 illegal immigrants have been deported or are awaiting deportation through the program in the past two years.

“Deputies, through extra training, are empowered to enforce federal laws and begin deportation proceedings as they see fit,” he wrote. “In places without the program, local authorities have to rely on federal agents to undertake the deportation process against known illegal immigrants residing in their jails, a demand the feds are not always prepared to meet.”

Relying on federal agents sounds kind of familiar, no? As mentioned by Mark Evans in his report on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget plan:

“The most interesting of her intended solutions include transferring all state prisoners who are illegal immigrants and eligible for parole to the federal government for deportation back to their home countries.”

Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Under the Collier County sheriff’s plan, stabbing someone to death is definitely grounds enough for deportation, but one of Escalante’s earlier arrests, of being drunk in public, was not enough.

He got to hang around. And allegedly kill.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

What would happen if the situation were reversed, if an English speaker killed a teen for daring to speak Spanish?

What agency should be responsible for deportation?

Are you sick of all this stuff already?

Where are you going to move when you become an expatriate?

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Why we should care about Bastille Day, July 14

Tucson is nestled near Mexico, infused with the Spanish language and in the middle of the fabled Wild West. Some may wonder why we should give a hoot about Bastille Day.

Vive la France/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Vive la France/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Bastille Day, which is France’s July 14, 1789, version of our July 4, 1776, marks the day folks stormed the Bastille prison and kicked off the French Revolution.

Those who think prisons are useless, too costly or overcrowded may one day want to emulate such an event, already a reason to care about Bastille Day.

In addition to giving us a blueprint for setting a bunch of prisoners free, France’s momentous occasion should be honored because the country gave us a lot of cool things.

Wine and cheese: Gallery openings would not be possible without this French-inspired combination. Nor would we be able to enjoy soufflés, omelets, chicken cordon bleu or pate de foie gras. (Please excuse the lack of accent marks I couldn’t get that character map thing to work.)

Art and literature: Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Gaugin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec rule the art end while Charles Baudelaire and Guy de Maupassant pick up the poetry and stories. One of the best stories I’ve ever read was Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace.”

Words and phrases: We are constantly using terms borrowed from the French, both in crossword puzzles and in everyday life. Soup du jour. Bon appetit. Menage a trios. L’aissez-moi tranquille vous etes un couchon.

Besides, some of us may still rue the fateful day we chose to study French over Spanish for 602 years, and Bastille Day gives us one excuse to actually use our language skills for things other than eavesdropping on the occasional tourist from Montreal.


Do you care about Bastille Day?

Do you still find it useless, even after reading this compelling argument?

What is your favorite thing borrowed from France or your favorite French author, artist or cuisine?

What is your least favorite thing about France?