Katie Hobbs “taking a hard look” at defunding Border Strike Force, despite campaign pledge to the contrary

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs admitted during one of her first post-election television interviews on November 16 that she is “taking a hard look” at defunding Arizona’s Border Strike Force.

Following an extended interview, 3TV’s Dennis Welch informed viewers that Hobbs “told me that she would be taking a hard look at Governor Ducey’s Border Strike Force and whether or not she will keep it” pending her assessment of “whether it’s an appropriate role for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.” The remark contradicts Hobbs’s previous position on the issue. During a June 2021 interview on 12 News, Hobbs applauded the Border Strike Force as a successful “drug interdiction unit” and said that one of her priorities would be “continuing to provide the support so that they’re able to carry out that job.”

The Border Strike Force, established by Ducey in 2015, is a collaborative law enforcement effort to stop dangerous crime at the border involving drugs, weapons, theft, and more. The success of the effort in Arizona led 26 governors to form the American Governors’ Border Strike Force in April 2022, but, asked by Welch if she is “going to stick with” the state’s membership in the nationwide coalition, Hobbs declined to answer, stating only that “it’s something that I need to look more closely at in terms of how it’s working.”

One day earlier, Hobbs had pledged during a campaign victory speech that she would “provide our border communities with the resources they need” in order to address the “border crisis.”