Maricopa County sheriff's posse resumes school patrols - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Maricopa County sheriff's posse resumes school patrols

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Protecting schools and teachers is the mission for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's volunteer posse. Monday, the lawman announced the return of the school patrol program.

"We started this program in January this year after the situation in Connecticut," he said.

On December 14, 2012, 20 children and 6 adult staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut.

About a month later here in Maricopa County, Sheriff Arpaio deployed his volunteer posse to patrol local school perimeters. Now they're back.

"Now we are coming back. It's only the right thing to do to come back, take it very serious."

The posse will use marked cars to patrol the perimeters of 62 schools on county land, and at least some will be heavily armed.

"Some of my posse have automatic weapons -- we are going to have enough fire power to fight back if we have to," said Arpaio.

And in true Arpaio style, the sheriff criticized what he called a slow politicized federal response to the problem.

"I don't know what's taken the government and these agencies so long to do something, I hope they are not waiting for another incident."

Arpaio's bottom line -- keep the bad guys away from schools.

"The ultimate goal is to go to the perimeter and keep the bad guys out, not wait until they get in there. I want to keep them out from going in there."

The sheriff noted that his volunteer posse go through the same training as regular deputies. They also pay for their own uniforms, weapons and cars.

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