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Sheriff Arpaio trains posse members, requests 1K more

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PHOENIX -

Sheriff Arpaio says he may have to stop his school protection posse, that uses armed volunteers to patrol around schools, unless he recruits more volunteers.

A week after the sandy hook school shooting in Newtown, sheriff Arpaio developed the school protection posse to act as a deterrent to potential threats to schools.

But, he says he needs more citizen volunteers to train in order to keep the program going.

Members of the Sheriff's school protection posse trained at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Training Center Saturday.

"They are well trained, they go through the same training as our regular deputies on the guns and everything else, they do it for nothing, they sacrifice their time, they buy their own cars, own equipment and we're going to criticize?" said Arpaio.

Members of the volunteer posse, some armed, started patrolling some schools in January.

"Doesn't cost nothing. The posse does it for nothing. They buy their own bullets, they do everything," said Arpaio.

The Sheriff's office has 3,500 posse members that have been used to patrol around malls at Christmas.

But he wants 1.000 more volunteers to train and become members of the school protection posse.

"I got to recruit more people to make a decision come September whether I can continue this program," said Arpaio.

The Sheriff boasts in a six week time frame his office thwarted various school threats.

'We have investigated and arrested on three different schools, three different suspects, people who have brought weapons into the school, have threatened to bomb the school," said Arpaio.

Despite critics, the sheriff's determined to make the program work.

"Nothing seems to be done about this school situation so I have to make a big decisions whether
to keep this program going," said Arpaio.

Actor Steven Segal is expected to be at the next training session. He had a movie shoot so he couldn't be at Saturday's training.

To join the Sheriff's school protection posse, call 602-876-1895 or go to the Enforcement Support location at 3325 west Durango in Phoenix.

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