Virtues of Character and Joe Arpaio: A Virtuous Man

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Joe Arpaio was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 13, 1932 (Wikipedia, 2014). He was raised by his father who was a grocery store owner, because his mom died during labor. Arpaio graduated from high school and when he was 18 he joined the Army. He served “in the Army from 1950 to 1954 in the “Medical Detachment Division” after he was discharged, moved to Washington DC became a police officer and later moved to Las Vegas” (MCSO, 1893). There he served as a police officer for six months before he was appointed as a special agent with the DEA. During his “25-year with the DEA he was advanced to the position of head of the DEA’s Arizona branch” (Wikipedia, 2014). In 1992, Arpaio successfully campaigned for the office of Maricopa County Sheriff. He was re-elected in “1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008, and is still currently the Sheriff at 77 years old” (Wikipedia, 2014). He married Eva in 1958, and they now have two children and four grandchildren (MCSO, 1893).
I believe Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona is a virtuous man. He has been profiled in “over 4500 U.S. and foreign newspaper, magazines, and TV news programs” (MCSO, 1893). His leadership and the excellent work of his staff have “catapulted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office into the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies” (MCSO, 1893). As stated, moral virtues are “represented by habits, traits, or dispositions of character, and according to Aristotle, must be acquired through practice” (Banks, 2013).
Virtue ethics is an approach that “deemphasizes rules, consequences and particular acts and places the focus on the kind of person who is acting” (Garrett, 2005). A person’s character is the totality of his character traits. Our character traits can be goo...

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Overall, virtue ethics poses the question “what kind of person should I become?” (Banks, 2013) and Arpaio worked on becoming a tough Sheriff. The characteristics and behaviors that he worked on were becoming tough who works on lowering crime rates and providing an environment for society to live freely with no concern about criminals.

Banks, C. (2013). Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice, Edition 3. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Garrett. (2005). Virtue Ethics. Retrieved from:

Internet Encyclopedia Philosophy (IEP). Virtue Ethics. Retrieved from:

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. (1893). retrieved from:

Wikipedia. (2014). Joe Arpaio. Retrieved from:
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