There’s a new sheriff in town, but he’s far from a stranger. Russ Skinner has served the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for more than 30 years, including the last six as chief deputy. Today the Board of Supervisors appointed Skinner to succeed his former boss, Paul Penzone, as sheriff.
“Sheriff Skinner has served under sheriffs from both political parties, including his most recent six-year tenure as chief deputy for Sheriff Penzone,” said Chairman Jack Sellers, who represents District 1. “The board’s decision to appoint Sheriff Skinner was about choosing the most qualified candidate and ensuring stability and results for Maricopa County residents.”
Sheriff Skinner brings over 33 years of experience at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, having risen through the ranks to chief deputy, a role in which he oversees 4,000 staff members and manages a $507 million budget.
“The sheriff we appointed today is a proven leader with decades of law enforcement service,” stated Vice Chairman Thomas Galvin, District 2. “This appointment provides certainty and continuity of leadership at the Sheriff’s Office, which benefits not only the residents of Maricopa County but Sheriff Skinner’s fellow law enforcement colleagues who work hard to keep the community safe.”
“I’d like to thank Chairman Sellers and the Board of Supervisors for appointing me as Maricopa County’s new sheriff,” said Sheriff Skinner. “I am fully committed to maintaining operational excellence, delivering top-tier law enforcement services, ensuring safe and secure jail operations, and upholding required compliance measures. I am very appreciative of our community and agency partnerships and look forward to increasing our engagement while building morale and fostering an atmosphere of trust, confidence, accountability, transparency, and integrity within the agency. I am so proud to lead an organization of outstanding law enforcement officials and volunteers that are dedicated to public safety.”
Throughout his tenure, Sheriff Skinner has had the opportunity to plan, lead, partner, and execute several public safety missions involving large-scale events ranging from critical infrastructure emergency drills, protests and civil unrest activity, elections security, and major national sporting events. He has also tackled challenges like the fentanyl crisis and improving the community’s trust in law enforcement.
“I could not think of a better person to take over as sheriff,” said Supervisor Bill Gates, District 3. “Sheriff Skinner has several decades of know-how in prioritizing community safety, which I look forward to seeing in action throughout the upcoming election cycle. I am particularly impressed by his commitment to protecting election poll workers and think his past elections security experience will serve the County well.”
“My district has a close relationship with the Sheriff’s Office because there are many unincorporated communities in the northwest Valley that rely on them for critical public safety services,” stated Supervisor Clint Hickman of District 4. “I am confident that Sheriff Skinner will continue providing the attentive service these folks deserve.”
Sheriff Skinner has been running the agency since Sheriff Penzone resigned on January 12. He’ll serve as sheriff until Maricopa County residents elect a new sheriff in November 2024.