There's No Way To Differentiate Between One Arizona County's Sheriff's Deputies And Its Armed Volunteers

sheriff joe armed posseDavid Bennet, a member of the volunteer posse, sits in a sheriff’s office car and wears a uniform outside a school.

Photo: AP Images

Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio was so in favour of sending armed citizens into schools for protection that there is now no way to know who’s a real sheriff’s deputy and who’s a volunteer.Arpaio announced last month plans to send armed volunteers to protect schools in Maricopa County, Ariz., after Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school.

And now that plan has come to fruition, with armed private citizens acting so much like actual sheriff’s deputies “there is no way to tell them apart,” The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Times profiled Dennis Donowick, a retired truck driver who joined up with Arpaio’s posse.

Donowick, 58, told the Times volunteers go to schools in cars and uniforms “just like those used by Maricopa County deputies” and are armed with a variety of weapons, including the 9-millimetre Glock and AR-15 Donowick said he carries.

Posse members do undergo training and must have valid gun certification.

They are instructed to patrol schools and “eliminate the target,” or shoot to kill, should a dangerous situation arise.

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