BISBEE — Among the nine county officials sworn in to office in the county supervisors’ chamber during a brief ceremony Thursday was Cochise County’s newest sheriff, Mark Dannels.
Fry Fire District Chief Bill Miller, right, speaks with newly sworn in Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels Thursday in the county board of supervisors chambers in Bisbee. Mark Levy/Wick News Service
Among them was acting Sierra Vista Police Chief Tom Alinen, who said he was very much looking forward to working with Dannels.
“I think it’s going to be a very good working relationship. I know that Mark has progressive ideas,” Alinen said.
The two have a working relationship going back many years.
“I’ve worked with him since he started as a deputy,” Alinen said. “He’s going to do well.”
In brief comments after he and his fellow officials were sworn in, Dannels said he was blessed, honored and humbled to be elected sheriff, and that he was looking forward to working for the county’s residents.
Seven years ago, when John Black first joined the sheriff’s office Sheriff’s Assist Team, Dannels was the team’s advisor.
“He was a lieutenant with the sheriff’s office. So I got to know him pretty well,” said Black, who now coordinates the team.
“I got to understand where he was coming from, in terms of an aggressive law enforcement officer and also one very concerned about the welfare of his troops. In this case, that would be the deputies and all the employees of the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Also among Dannels’ supporters was Fry Fire Chief Bill Miller, who said he has known Dannels for more than two decades.
“He’s a great guy. We’re real excited about the changes to the sheriff’s office he’s going to bring,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of energy around that.”
Dannels has “fresh slate” coming into office, said Richard Searle, chair of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.
“It’ll be interesting to see what he does from here on. There’s a lot of opportunities out there for him,” Searle said.
Vice-Chairman Pat Call said that newly elected officials like Dannels and new County Treasurer Cathy Traywick bring “fresh ideas” to the table.
“I think that’s always good,” Call said.
Full list of county officials sworn in at Thursday’s ceremony:
• Patrick Call, Supervisor, District 1
• Ann English, Supervisor, District 2
• Richard Searle, Supervisor, District 3
• Philip Leiendecker, County Assessor
• Edward Rheinheimer, County Attorney
• Christine Rhodes, County Recorder
• Trudy Berry, County Schools Superintendent
• Mark Dannels, County Sheriff
• Cathy Traywick, County Treasurer