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Pink Shorts

The Story Behind the Sheriff's Pink Shorts

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was having trouble with inmates stealing pairs of regular white boxer shorts from the county jails - it was affecting operating expenses. It was costing the county about $40,000 a year to keep jail prisoners in clean, comfortable shorts.

In an effort to reduce theft, he devised a clever plan to dye all inmates' shorts pink. Then, as the inmates are discharged from jail or goes out on work furlough leave, they are searched for any pink boxer shorts. Since the boxer shorts are easy to identify, theft has dropped drastically, thereby reducing taxpayer cost for replenishing inmates' shorts.

This program was so effective that Sheriff Arpaio was getting requests from other inmates asking for a souvenir pair of shorts for friends and neighbors. With this in mind, the Sheriff wondered if there was a market for these pink shorts. He had 3000 pairs especially made with the Maricopa County Sheriff's badge embossed on them along with his signature.

These shorts are all brand new, and are the same make and style furnished to inmates at the county jails. Because of the unique color, these shorts have become a real fashion statement. The initial 3000 shorts sold out in a day and a half, so an additional 25,000 were ordered and are being sold in Phoenix area malls.

The general public is buying these shorts at a remarkable rate. They are not only buying for their local families, friends, and visitors, but also for their out-of-state families and friends. Many people in every state of the Union and numerous foreign countries around the world will be receiving a pair of these shorts in their Christmas stockings this year. Also, the women have been taking this fashion statement seriously; they found that by sewing up the front opening of the shorts, they can worn as outside shorts.

All profits from sale of these shorts go to the Sheriff's Posse Foundation. One of the purposes of the Posse Foundation is to help defray the Posse's cost associated with Valley Mall Patrols. The Mall Patrols, which are operated by all volunteer Posse members, help reduce crime significantly during the holiday season. Because of the Posse presence at each Mall, YOU the Christmas shopper have a greater sense of security, and this service is provided at no cost to the tax-paying public. So the pink shorts serve a dual purpose: they are a definite fashion statement, and they help pay expenses involved in protection the public from vicious attacks from the criminal element at our area malls and shopping centers.

The Communications Posse members who volunteer their time and effort at this table are all amateur radio operators. The men and women of the Communications Posse, which is one of 47 Posses of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, wants to thank you for this purchase, and we want to wish you an enjoyable holiday season.

Note: The preceding is the text of a handout that was distributed at the Communications Posse "pink shorts" table at Chris-Town Mall in Phoenix