Legendary violator of constitutional rights, prodigious target of lawsuits (currently two), and America’s least favorite crazy-drunk-uncle-who-lives-in-the-attic Joe Arpaio – who also happens to be the elected Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes the Phoenix metropolitan area – has struck again. And no – shock of shocks – the infringed-upon individuals in this case were not immigrants, or drug offenders, or inmates…they were school children. As reported by ABC:
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that at least 59 Phoenix-area schools now have armed volunteers posted outside to deter would-be shooters from carrying out acts of violence.
About 3,000 volunteers will patrol the 59 schools in the sheriff’s primary jurisdiction each school day for the rest of the year, Arpaio said at a news conference on Wednesday. At least 500 of the volunteers will be armed and authorized to use the same weapons as deputies do.
The sheriff told ABC/Univision in December that he has the authority to direct the posse to take action if it is warranted, but said the guards are intended to be a deterent.
Arpaio decided to post posse members outside of schools in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting and another incident involving a 16-year-old Mesa, Arizona student who threatened to kill fellow students at Red Mountain High School. The girl was arrested after she posted threats on a YouTube channel, before any shooting took place. The school is not one of the 59 the posse will monitor.
Apparently, Sheriff Joe has been organizing his own little police-state, patrolled by militant adult males with guns who have no where else to be during the day, like, say, a job, who are loyal only to him. The all-volunteer “citizen posse” program has existed in Maricopa County for fifty years, but has been widely expanded under Sheriff Joe, extending now to schools.
But hey, he’s served as sheriff since 1992 – maybe Sheriff Joe has the wishes of his constituency at heart?