Sheriff Arpaio wants members of his 3,000 strong volunteer posse to patrol schools in towns that fall under sole jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office – not inside the schools at this time, he says, but in the perimeters of the schools in order to detect any criminal activity.
Via AZ Family.com:
PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday that he plans to deploy his armed volunteer posse to protect Valley schools from the kind of violence that happened in the Connecticut shooting tragedy. Arpaio believes having armed law officers around schools will deter would-be criminals from trying anything violent and, possibly, stop them if they do.
“I have the authority to mobilize private citizens and fight crime in this county,” Arpaio said.
Arpaio first started using his posse to protect malls during the holiday shopping season in 1993 in response to violent incidents in prior years. Since then he said malls where his posse members are on patrol have had zero violent re-occurrences and patrols by his all-volunteer squad during the 2012 shopping season netted a record 31 arrests.
“I don’t know if they agree [to my plan] or not. I’ll coordinate with them,” the sheriff said, admitting he has yet to talk it over with the schools.
Arpaio’s plan came the day after his counterpart in Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Attorney General Tom Horne said they want to arm teachers and principals.
Arpaio said he would rather see armed resource officers back in schools than see armed teachers.