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Maricopa Police Foundation named Jonathan Schueller (left) Officer of the Year, and Elliot Sneezy Sergeant of the Year.

Maricopa Police Foundation honored Maricopa’s “finest” its annual award ceremony Nov. 4. MPD veteran Elliot Sneezy was named Sergeant of the Year, and newcomer Jonathan Schueller was named Officer of the Year. Shawna Thies was named Civilian Employee of the Year and Dreama King Explorer of the Year. Barry Vogel and Kelly Hayden were named Volunteers of the Year.

Officer of the Year Jonathan Schueller

Hometown: Primghar, Iowa
Current residence: Chandler
Years as a police officer: 1½
Serving Maricopa since: 2016
Family: Married nine years to Jamie Schueller, a kindergarten teacher
Like most about Maricopa: Support from the community
Favorite part of the job: No two days are ever the same
Least favorite part of the job: Knowing I or one of my brothers or sisters may not go home at the end of our shift.
Proudest moment on the job: The day I got hired because becoming a police officer has been my lifelong dream.
Scariest moment on the job: I have no fear; I have full faith and trust in my fellow brothers and sisters in this profession.
Why did you become a police officer? I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. When others say they won’t go or won’t do it, I will go.

Sergeant of the Year Elliot Sneezy

Hometown: San Carlos
Current residence: Phoenix
Years as a police officer: 23
Serving Maricopa since: 2007
Family: Wife Isabella and daughter Aili
Like most about Maricopa: I like how supportive the community is toward our officers. I have witnessed the random acts of kindness displayed by the kids and adults.
Favorite part of the job: Being in the company of heroes. The officers I have worked with throughout my career have done amazing things that most people will never hear or see. I get to see and hear it weekly.
Least favorite part of the job: The political aspects related to policing.
Proudest moment on the job and why: When I received the Sergeant of the Year award in 2014 my daughter, who was 7 years old at the time, and my wife were there to witness it. The team that helped me earn the award was one of the best teams I had the pleasure to work with. At that time the officer of the year also came from our team.
Scariest moment on the job: In 1996 I responded to a person who cut both of his wrists. While talking to him he backed into his backyard. As I was getting closer to him he grabbed a pitchfork that was on a table facing me and tried to stab me in the stomach. Luckily he only stabbed me in the palm of my hand to my wrist. I pulled out the pitchfork and wrestled him to the ground.
Why did you become a police officer? When I left the Marine Corps I needed a job. There were no jobs that had much of a future. I applied for the police department and was selected. I didn’t realize it, but I became the fourth generation in my family to be a police officer. In 1994 I was nearly killed by a gang member. From that point my passion for working gangs became my reason for staying in law enforcement.


This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.


Maricopa has again made the Top 5 list of Arizona’s safest cities, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The city’s violent crime rate is measured at 1.72 per 1,000 people while the property crime rate is 12.45 per 1,000. That places Maricopa fifth on the list. The state’s average is 6.0 and 40.0, respectively.

For the nation, the violent crime rate is 3.0 and property crime rate is 28.0.

Florence, the Pinal County seat with its high law-enforcement presence, was ranked the safest city in Arizona. It is followed by Sahuarita, Gilbert and Oro Valley. Alarms.org uses the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics to compile its data.


A woman has died after being stabbed in what is suspected to be a domestic violence incident in Maricopa.

The woman’s husband is in the custody of Maricopa Police Department for questioning. Neither has been publicly identified as the investigation continues of a “suspicious death.”

According to Officer Daniel Rauch, several 911 calls came into MPD around 6:30 p.m. Saturday primarily from Maricopa Meadows.

Neighbors reported hearing screaming and seeing a man striking a woman repeatedly. Rauch said the woman reportedly was stabbed with a knife or a sharp object. More information is expected Monday.

Michael J. Davis (PCSO photo)

Maricopa Police officers arrested a man on an assault charge after a violent domestic altercation on the morning of Oct. 21 only to later discover that he was wanted for allegedly shoplifting beer from a convenience store the night before.

Thursday night, MPD responded to a report of shoplifting at the Good to Go Gas Station on John Wayne Parkway. The unidentified subject reportedly took two 18-packs of Budweiser beer and fled from the store on foot. Officers searched the area but were ultimately unable to track down the beer bandit, or recover the stolen merchandise.

The following day at approximately 6:20 a.m. MPD made contact with Maricopa resident Michael J. Davis in reference to a domestic violence report. Davis was taken into custody and photographed by the MPD after being charged with assault. He was then transported to the Pinal County Detention Facility for booking.

Later Friday morning, surveillance footage of the convenience store from the night before was obtained and compared to the photos taken of Davis. Police determined Davis was the man being sought for allegedly stealing the brew and thus an additional accusation of shoplifting was made.

Total value of the beer was said to be $27.98, an amount well under the $1,000 floor for felonious theft. However, theft of anything less than $1,000 is a Class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Arizona, a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Davis could face additional punishment if also found guilty of assault, a crime that carries a potential incarceration period of as little as one month to as much as 15 years, depending on the of severity of the crime.