Jerry was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. with an older sister and a younger brother. His mother Betty Ann was a stay home mom and his father was a New York City Police Oﬃcer. Jerry attended Catholic School through 12th grade which gave him a solid educational background and a grounding in faith. When his father retired as a lieutenant in 1976 the family moved to Fountain Hills, AZ. This is where Jerry pursued his life’s calling.
In January 1977, Jerry entered the Maricopa County Sheriﬀ ‘s Oﬃce Reserve Deputy Academy. Upon graduation he worked out of District 1 in the southeastern part of the county. He worked construction during the day and rode at night with legendary deputies like John Schattenburg and Nate Jackson, who had a profound inﬂuence on the rest of his career.
In 1978 he was hired as a detention oﬃcer and then a deputy sheriﬀ attending the Phoenix Police Academy. After five years as a patrol deputy Jerry was promoted to Corporal, was assigned a squad, and transferred to District 4, a newly created substation that served the northeastern portion of the county. A couple years later he was promoted to Sergeant staying in patrol. Two years later he found himself as a Lieutenant — still in patrol — except he was now completing the administrative duties of the District while still working the road. When officers from other departments saw him working patrol in spite of his rank they laughed, but Jerry loved patrol because it was where he got to help the public the most.
It was also one late night on patrol, while at a barricade subject situation, that his life changed forever. He met his wife Stacie. She was the daughter of one of the other deputies and they have been inseparable best friends more than 30 years of marriage later. They have two daughters, two grandchildren and a great son-in-law.
Jerry was transferred from patrol to Security and Transport and played a key role in uniting deputies and detention oﬃcers whose main responsibility was to transport inmates to court appearances and other appointments. He had a short time as the Property Management Division Commander before being transferred back to patrol.
In 1993 Jerry was once again promoted, to the rank of Captain. He was assigned to Dist. 3 in the northwestern part of the county. This area included the communities of Sun City, Sun City West and Wickenburg. After one year he was moved back to lead Dist. 4.
A few years later Jerry received a call to come see Sheriﬀ Arpaio right away. He had very little contact with the Sheriff so he spent a long hour’s drive wondering what the meeting was going to be about. It turns out Sheriﬀ Arpaio wanted to promote him to Chief of Patrol, and he wanted Jerry to do two things: First, to make sure his deputies were out arresting all the bad guys they could while taking good care of all the citizens who needed ordinary help like changing someone’s tire or getting a cat out of a tree, and Second, making sure the deputies were having fun doing job number one.
Jerry asked the Chief Deputy Jadel Roe why Sheriﬀ Arpaio picked him for the job. She told him it was because about a month before, Arpaio had asked him a question and Jerry had given him a straight answer, not backing down even after the Sheriff had argued with him. She told Jerry the Sheriﬀ respected people like that.
A few years later Jerry was promoted to Chief of Custody. The MCSO jail system makes up 75% of the personnel and budget of the Oﬃce – a job made more challenging as the responsibility for the largest construction project ever undertaken by the county government was placed in his lap. Two mega jails, a food factory, laundry, distribution center, training center and thousands of oﬃcers had to be designed, planned, built and hired. These jails are now know as 4th Avenue Jail and the Lower Buckeye Jail.
Jerry was also able to ﬁnally settle the 30-plus year-long federal litigation involving inmate rights originally known as Hart v Hill. During the twelve years Jerry was the Chief of Custody he was appointed to the Arizona Peace Oﬃcers Standards and Training Board, ﬁrst by Governor Hull, then by two subsequent governors, something he considers a highlight of his career. He also obtained his Masters in Organizational Management and graduated from the FBI National Academy.
In 2010 Sheriﬀ Arpaio asked Jerry to become his Chief Deputy. This was a time of tremendous turmoil in the Sheriff’s office and Jerry was almost immediately inundated with federal litigation, audits, administrative issues and reorganization. The line of duty death of Deputy Coleman in January 2012 resulting from a violent gun battle was the most painful time for him. The Melendrez litigation which had been in progress many years prior to Jerry becoming Chief Deputy also came to a head. It was a punishing time for Jerry, but he feels those six years, as diﬃcult as they were, prepared him to become Sheriﬀ.
The decision to run for Sheriﬀ of Maricopa County in 2024 was easy for him even knowing how diﬃcult a task it will be. He wants to give back to the MCSO, its employees, and the citizens of Maricopa County, in return for what they have given to him those forty years.