Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio (born June 14, 1932) is the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County in the U.S. state of Arizona. First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio is responsible for law enforcement in Maricopa County. This includes management of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, county jail, courtroom security, prisoner transport, service of warrants, and service of process. Arpaio promotes himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff." He is well known for his outspoken stance against illegal immigration. Arpaio has become a flashpoint for controversy surrounding Arizona's SB1070 anti-illegal immigration act.
Arpaio was once widely popular among voters in Arizona. However, his popularity has waned since 2007, but remains positive among registered Republicans.
Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Italian parents both from Avellino, Italy.. Arpaio's mother died while giving birth to him, and Arpaio was raised by his father, a grocery store owner. Arpaio completed high school and worked in his father's business until age 18 when he enlisted in the United States Army. Arpaio served in the Army from 1950 to 1954 in the Medical Detachment Division and was stationed in France for part of the time as a military policeman.