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Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Lets Vigilante Patrols Loose To 'Protect' Schools...

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM
  • 53 Replies

 

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Lets Vigilante Patrols Loose To ‘Protect’ Schools

2013/01/09
By

arpaio

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is phasing in his new “school posse” program this week, focusing on 52 schools in the county. While some parents and teachers are happy about it, many others are less than thrilled. Muddying the waters is the lack of identification of the volunteer force. Well, that, and the fact that some of them have criminal backgrounds.

The posses began to take their places on Monday, but the schools had little information about the men who are supposedly protecting their students. One principal spoke of confusion about two men in an umarked car and plain clothes patrolling around the school. Another principal said that they were told there would be men patrolling but nothing else, including whether or not each school gets its own detail.


Schools and parents in the Phoenix area are split about the task force. Some welcome the increased security — one school is in a high-crime area and has been on lock-down four times recently because of neighborhood crime — but others are concerned about the lack of accountability. Though the Sheriff’s office is meeting with school officials and parents about the program to answer questions, some aspects of it give them pause. Others are enthusiastic:

“It does make me feel a little bit safer with all the stuff that goes on around here. My son is constantly on lockdown. However, I feel like they should be on foot doing something inside the school like a security guard or something,” said parent Lea Block.

The thing that has many detractors worried most is that some of Joe’s volunteers have criminal backgrounds. A spokesman said that some of these men have “… faced disciplinary action in connection with their crimes, either avoided felony convictions or petitioned to have their records expunged, and are now moving on.” The fact that the crimes these men may have committed are not made public is troubling, considering the positions in which they are being placed. There are about 3,000 volunteers in Arpaio’s program and, though they will not be on the campus proper, the proximity and access they will have to students makes their criminal pasts worrisome to critics.

Joe-Arpaio1

Fans of the fatuous Sheriff point out that a similar program which began guarding malls 10 years ago has worked perfectly, holding violent incidents at bay and arresting 31 individuals. They also credit Sheriff Joe with stopping a potential disaster in December involving a 16-year-old girl. She was arrested after authorities received a tip that she was planning on killing her classmates and then herself at a Phoenix High School. She’d had the event planned since a week before the Connecticut shootings and was ready to implement it when she was caught.

Arpaio decided to deploy the school program after the Newtown school shootings, saying that he had the authority to “mobilize private citizens to fight crime.” He says that he does not need permission from either schools or county officials to station the civilian force in towns that fall under his jurisdiction. He assures those who are concerned that the patrols are well-trained, having undergone 1,000 hours of weapons training. Critics aren’t worried about them being able to use their weapons, they are disturbed about whether or not the volunteers understand discretion in that use. Posse member Jerry Johnson unintentionally illustrates why:

“… if our lives were threatened, or a child’s life was threatened, [or] a teacher’s life was threatened and we see that while on patrol, we would be prepared to take some kind of action.”

The patrols will not be on the school campuses but patrolling the area in cars and, one assumes, on foot. Nobody questions their intentions, however it is disquieting that the minds of these men appear to be squarely set on using their guns to deal with any emergencies that may arise. There is a reason vigilantism is illegal. This is not the Wild West, no matter how much Sheriff Joe fantasizes that it is. With 3,000 armed men, some of whom are criminals — Joe is not being very transparent about who they are and what they did — prowling around looking for reasons to use their Joe-given authority and their guns, what could possibly go wrong?

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/09/arizona-sheriff-joe-arpaio-lets-vigilante-patrols-loose-to-protect-schools/

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Mipsy
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM
1 mom liked this

 I love that man!

LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM

 Why?

Quoting Mipsy:

 I love that man!

 

Mipsy
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:11 AM
3 moms liked this

 Becase he actually has the balls to do stuff

Quoting LucyMom08:

 Why?

Quoting Mipsy:

 I love that man!

 

 

LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM
5 moms liked this

 While I do agree that appointing vigilantes with possible criminal backgrounds to protect school children was ballsy, I think I may be on the opposite side of the opinion coin here...

Quoting Mipsy:

 Becase he actually has the balls to do stuff

Quoting LucyMom08:

 Why?

Quoting Mipsy:

 I love that man!

 

 

 

krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:05 AM
That guy is a fucking nut. An asshole-ish type nut.
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katy_kay08
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM

so a group of unidentified strangers will be walking and driving around the schools with guns and that is suppose to make parent's feel safer sending their children to school?  

IMO, if they want this to actually be something that helps they would make the school officials aware of who they are and how they were choosen.  


katy_kay08
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:48 AM

This is another story about it, he says these people can enter the schools as well. 

PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he's assigning his volunteer posse to protect Valley schools.

Starting today, 520 armed posse members will start patrolling schools in Maricopa County.

"They'll be looking for anyone suspicious that's hanging around the schools. They'll also have the authority to go into the schools, but they will primarily focus on the perimeter," Arpaio said.

The sheriff said he wanted to start the patrols after his investigation foiled a plot targeting a Mesa high school.

Deputies said a 16-year-old girl was arrested in December after officers received a tip she was planning on killing her classmates at Red Mountain High School and then herself.

"She admitted that she had the plan in place one week before the Newtown shootings. I believe she was planning on carrying it out," Arpaio said.

Posse members will focus on 52 schools in Maricopa County. 

Volunteers will be patrolling in all areas patrolled by MCSO and all incorporated cities.



Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/Sheriff-Arpaios-volunteer-posse-to-start-patrolling-Valley-schools#ixzz2Ha2BpxMZ
survivorinohio
by René on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:51 AM
1 mom liked this

he has no respect for human rights and due process.  He has no issue with his deputies committing appalling acts of violence which notably includes the death of several disabled persons and they made a paraplegic a quadriplegic because he needed a catheter.

Joe has none of my respect.  Brutal and heinous acts in the name of justice are still brutal and heinous acts. 

Quoting Mipsy:

 Becase he actually has the balls to do stuff

Quoting LucyMom08:

 Why?

Quoting Mipsy:

 I love that man!

 

 


How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


survivorinohio
by René on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Our school has PTA members that keep an eye on things.  I think thats the way to go, familiar faces.

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


katy_kay08
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:54 AM
1 mom liked this

These are just the type of people I want lurking around my children's school.  

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

http://www.kpho.com/story/17159125/criminal-pasts-dont-disqualify-members-of-arpaio-posse

Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse members wear uniforms, have badges, drive county vehicles and some even carry guns. And some of them also have criminal records.       

"They have as much power as the deputy wants to give them, including the power to arrest under the supervision of that deputy," said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio wants his army of 3,000 volunteer posse members to look like sworn deputies and sometimes perform the same duties. But an in-depth project by CBS 5 Investigates uncovered a number of posse members with arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer - and the list goes on.           

These are crimes that are not tolerated in many professions, especially professions with an implied authority.

"We have about 600 (members) armed with guns," said Arpaio. "We haven't seen any problems with posse men and women shooting people and everything else. Where are all the problems?"

CBS 5 Investigates discovered that the county does not keep detailed records on posse members. A look into the backgrounds of about 2,000 of them revealed arrests for dozens of different crimes. From there, CBS 5 took a close look at some of the cases that were able to be confirmed.

"Don't get me wrong, I've done some things in my life that I'm not proud of," said Michael Hoopingarner who admits to being arrested for cocaine possession in 1999. "It's stuff that may not even be on paper. It's stuff that I had to disclose when I joined."

The process by which a candidate can be approved is subjective, at best.

A posse applicant "could be disqualified" if they have a felony conviction, have used illegal drugs excessively, or sport a misdemeanor narcotics conviction, according to the sheriff's office posse application. Despite Hoopingarner's disclosure, he was hired on the posse.           

And then there was Jacob Cutler. According to a Flagstaff police report, Cutler threw his girlfriend to the ground and choked her while trying to sexually assault her in 2008. When she didn't cooperate, he allegedly threatened to call police and said they would side with him, because he "has a badge." He was a member of Arpaio's posse at the time.

Cutler and Hoopingarner attended anger management and drug diversion programs, respectively, and their records were eventually wiped clean. Cutler maintained his posse membership and Hoopingarner was later approved as a member.

While combing through thousands of pages of court records and police reports, CBS 5 Investigates discovered that some posse members were behaving as though they were above the law.

Kevin Ray Campos was arrested in 2007 outside a Scottsdale club for disorderly conduct. According to the police report, he spit on several bouncers and then hurled profanities at a Scottsdale police officer. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, according to court records, and was hired as a posse member a year later.

Law enforcement agencies should not allow people with criminal histories access to a badge or uniform or any other accessory that might give them the appearance of being a law enforcement officer, said former Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who has represented sworn police officers that have been under scrutiny for lesser crimes than these.

"If the posse members are being given badges, if the posse members are being given guns, then they ought to have the same supervision as other law enforcement agencies have," said Charlton. "Here, that's not taking place and that's reason for concern."

One posse member with an extensive disciplinary file is Douglas Clark, who also happens to be a constable. Clark has been counseled for rolling a county vehicle, driving 91 mph in a 45-mph zone, using his siren when not on a call, and using red-and-blue lights installed on his personal vehicle to look for something his wife had lost in the road.

CBS 5 Investigates tracked Clark down and asked him if he feels he is above the law.

"I can't answer anything on posse stuff," Clark told us. "I'm forbidden to answer anything with the sheriff's office."

And then there's the accusation from 2007 that a driver backed into Clark's car and then left the scene. Clark allegedly followed the car, rammed the vehicle and held the driver and passenger at gunpoint, all while he was off-duty.

Yet, Clark still remains in the posse.

"Law enforcement can be a long career," said Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. Dave Trombi. "People do things wrong throughout their career. We discipline them appropriately."

Ironically, it was the sheriff's office that recommended criminal charges against Clark for holding someone at gunpoint. Charges were never filed by the county attorney.

"We didn't turn a blind eye," said Trombi.

Law enforcement hiring budgets are tight across the nation, but the sheriff has found a way to employ his army of volunteers at no cost.

Posse members provide their own uniforms, handcuffs and guns, which can cost as much as $2,300.

"I don't know what we would do without the posse because we have a shortage of manpower and they pick up the slack free of charge, no cost to the taxpayers," said Arpaio.

While they don't draw a salary, posse members operate within taxpayer protection and under the county's insurance.

"There is no one in this country that has thousands of posse men and women doing the job on volunteerism," said Arpaio. "I have confidence in them. I have faith in them and I am going to continue to run the posse and hire more posse."

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