Penzone to bring back SWAT team that predecessor disbanded

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Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The new sheriff of metro Phoenix plans to bring back a SWAT team that focused on handling dangerous jail inmates and was eliminated by his predecessor.

Sheriff Paul Penzone says he will create a new Special Response Team to protect jail officers against violence by inmates.

Then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio folded the team in September as part of $8 million in budget cuts to cover skyrocketing legal costs from a racial-profiling case against the agency.

Some rank-and-file jail officers who had to pick up the duties of the team complained Arpaio had compromised officer safety by ending the team.

Arpaio's office, just days before the November election, insisted the team hadn't been disbanded.

Penzone says the agency had no such team was in place when he took office on Jan. 1.

[RELATED: Arpaio cut jail team as attacks on guards rose]

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