Last week I reported that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne had proposed a measure to train and arm one faculty member in each school to help prevent another Sandy Hook from taking place in the Grand Canyon State. In that report, it said that several sheriffs were in support of Horne’s proposal, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio does not appear to be one of those in support.
Sheriff Joe has been in the national news for a year now because he is the only law enforcement leader in the entire nation with the integrity to formally investigate Barack Obama’s eligibility to server as President of the United States. Obama and Eric Holder went after Sheriff Joe and did their best to destroy him and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, but Arpaio stood his ground and fought back and the people of the county overwhelmingly re-elected him in November.
Maricopa County is home to Phoenix, the state capital and seven other cities with populations over 100,000. According to June 2011 figures, the population of the county is 3,880,244. That’s just permanent residents as the county swells by over a million more people in the winter.
Over the years, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department has created one of the largest volunteer posses in the nation. They boast hundreds of members who volunteer for over 50 different posses within the sheriff’s department.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s there had been a rash of violent crimes in some of the shopping malls over the holiday season. In 1993, Arpaio started using his armed volunteer posse to patrol the malls during the holiday season and they have been very successful in curbing the violent crimes. This year, the posse made a record 31 arrests in the malls, keeping them a safe place for holiday shoppers.
Now Sheriff Joe wants to use his volunteer posse members to patrol around the public schools within the county. He says he has the authority to do so and that instead of talking about doing something, he is acting on doing something to help protect the children of his county. Sheriff Joe also said that he believes it is better to have armed law enforcement officers at the schools instead of arming faculty members.
Personally, I believe that having armed faculty members and law enforcement officers at the schools will be a larger deterrent to any would be deranged murderer. The law enforcement officers would be the first line of defense and the armed faculty would be a second line of defense. This is a more effective form of protection and security than just having one individual armed. There is strength in numbers and the more armed and trained the better.