In this time of unprecedented security concerns, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants the gun-carrying public to support the volunteer posse that annually protects shopping malls in his slice of Arizona.
In announcing the annual volunteer posse patrol, instituted by Arpaio in 1993, the sheriff on Monday said that “worldwide terror alerts and violent attacks” make the role of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Posse even more important.
He also said that even though the posse has grown to 3,000 volunteers, more is needed to protect the public.
“I expect armed citizens to take action in the event of a terror attack or if other violence occurs until law enforcement arrives,” Arpaio said.
“We have to undertake and deal with these threats as an entire community in order to best safeguard the public. The first line of defense is of course law enforcement, and that includes the posse, which has proved itself again and again a most valuable and successful resource through the years,” he said.
Arpaio added a special plea to citizens with permits to carry a concealed weapon.
“The volunteer posse can’t do it alone, so with nearly 250,000 Arizonans carrying concealed weapons, terrorists with evil intent entering large gatherings, including shopping malls, should be worried about armed citizens who will be ready to defend themselves and others,” said a departmental press release.
“I’m asking for that group to make sure that if some violent activity occurs that they take action to defend themselves, and also the people around them until law enforcement shows up,” Arpaio said.
“Citizens should take action, those carrying guns,” Arpaio added. “So when you’re saying law enforcement wants to take the guns away. I know the president and other people want to take the guns away, but not in this state.”