Share This Page

'Toughest sheriff' Arpaio of Arizona and actor Seagal to train posse to defend schools

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 9:06 p.m.
REUTERS
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (left) has enlisted actor and Maricopa County posse member Steven Seagal to lead a training exercise for members of his armed volunteer posse on how to respond to a school shooting. REUTERS

PHOENIX — The self-proclaimed “America's Toughest Sheriff” is joining forces this weekend with action movie star Steven Seagal to train volunteer armed posse members to defend Phoenix-area schools against gunmen.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced the controversial plan in the wake of the December Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 27 people dead, including the gunman and 20 first-graders.

The exercise is planned for Saturday at a closed school site in suburban Fountain Hills outside Phoenix where sheriff's SWAT members will act as shooters and 25 teenagers will play the part of students during mock scenarios involving up to three gunmen.

Seagal, best known for his roles in movies such as “Above the Law” and “Under Siege,” will lead training in hand-to-hand defense tactics and other techniques, drawing from his expertise in martial arts, according to a sheriff's office news release.

When criticized by some in January about the school posse plan, Arpaio snapped back: “Why would people complain about my posse being in front of schools to act as prevention?”

He announced the plan on the grounds of an elementary school, saying at the time that he wanted the patrols publicized.

“I want everyone to know about it for the deterrence effect,” Arpaio said, adding that no taxpayer money would be spent on the patrols.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.