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Sheriff Joe Arpaio celebrating birthday by rounding up deadbeat Valley parents

(AP/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans to celebrate his 82nd birthday Saturday in fitting fashion.

Arpaio, his team of deputies and volunteer posse are going around the Valley knocking on doors to arrest any fathers who owe back child support pay.

The goal is to keep them behind bars for Father's Day.

"We're going to try to get as many as we can, we usually average every year around 500," Arpaio told KTAR.

Arpaio noted that he's been going after deadbeat parents for many years, but Saturday's round up is special because it's on his birthday.

"I work seven days a week," said Arpaio. "This one happens to be on my birthday and what's a better way to spend a birthday then try to send a message out there."

His message is simple: 'Surrender.'

The sheriff admitted that getting deadbeat parents in jail is a great combined birthday and Father's Day gift, but added that he feels bad for children with parents who don't pay child support.

"Kid are our future and you have to be responsible if you want to have kids," said Arpaio. "The least you can do is pay your child support."

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About the Author


Cooper Rummell is a Southern California native. He moved to Arizona in 2012 to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Since May 2013, Cooper has worked as a desk anchor and reporter at KTAR. He has a passion for investigative political reporting and covering the local crime beat.

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