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PHOENIX -- Security concerns have been heightened for the sheriff of Arizona's most populous county in the wake of the shooting death of a sheriff in southern West Virginia who was known for cracking down on the drug trade.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his staff expressed sadness Wednesday at what they described as the senseless slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Arpaio says he's struggling to understand the recent murders of law enforcement officials in Colorado, Texas and now West Virginia. He says elected law enforcement officials across the nation seem to be targeted.

Arpaio himself has been the target of numerous threats, prompting the need for a security detail for the well-known sheriff. He has described himself as ``America's toughest sheriff'' and a national hero to conservatives on immigration issues.

Associated Press,

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