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PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio swore in 23 deputies and two Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community police officers in a graduation ceremony Thursday.

The first class in five years will provide an additional 70 patrol deputies in Maricopa County.

More than 1,300 men and women applied for positions after the 2014 recruitment for deputy sheriff was announced late last year.

Arpaio was grateful for the number of applicants he received.

"Clearly those interested in a law enforcement career recognize the professionalism of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," he said.

The new hires will bring the MCSO staff to a total of 529 deputy sheriffs with 24 more positions left to fill.

More deputies are to be hired soon, Arpaio said.

KTAR Newsroom,

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