PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans to start putting armed members of his volunteer posse near schools in the wake of the mass shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Arpaio doesn’t plan to put posse members inside schools but will have them posted around the perimeters.
“Why not utilize the posse into patrolling schools in our areas?” Arpaio asks.
With what he thinks is no reason not to, he’ll start this new idea within the next week.
The specific schools are not yet known but volunteers will be spread throughout Arpaio’s jurisdiction and he has identified certain areas.
The posse members are qualified for the job, according to Arpaio.
“Our posses are well trained with over 100 hours of how to use weapons [and] they have authority under the elected sheriff,” Arpaio said. “I feel they’ll be a great asset to schools around our area.”
They would be armed with a side-arm and not a semi-automatic weapon.
Arpaio is known as one of the nation’s most high-profile supporters of strict U.S.-Mexico border policy.
His plan announced Thursday comes after two other Arizona officials released ideas for boosting school security.
Attorney General Tom Horne proposed firearms training for one person in each school. And Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu proposed training multiple educators per school to carry guns.
“It doesn’t matter what the reaction is,” Arpaio said. “My main objective is to protect the public and do what we can to detour any of the massacres that have been happening around the country.”
The sheriff and his posse just finished up patrolling local malls over the holiday season, something they have been doing since 1993.
Information from The Associated Press was used from this report.
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain