Joe Arpaio's School-Patrolling Posse Not POST Certified; I.E., They Ain't Cops
RealSheriffJoeTwitter Arpaio swearing in the alter kockers in Sun City. I feel safer already...
I asked Mann if a posse member comes up to me and starts ordering me around, can I walk away?
"Yes, you can," said Mann.
Other than a citizens arrest, does a posse member have the authority to arrest someone?
"No, they do not," said Mann, "other than the authority that resides in any citizen, no."
And yet, posse members drive around in marked, black and yellow cars, just like sheriff's deputies. So, do they have the right to put their lights on and pull someone over?
"No," Mann replied.
Still, Arpaio likes for folks to think otherwise.
"Under the law," Arpaio told Channel 12's Curtis, "they have full law enforcement authority once I mobilize them."
Not really. Under the supervision of a deputy, they can act in a support role. You know, kinda like they did in the prostitution busts. But only under the direction of a deputy.
So what can a posse member do on his or her own?
Not a whole helluva lot.
Take this explanation of the Sun City Posse from its website:
"Suspicious circumstances and emergencies observed by the Patrol Posse are immediately reported to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office or the Fire Department."
Indeed, in an Arizona Republic piece published today, Arpaio is paraphrased as stating that, "If police action was needed, the school posse would rely on sworn deputies who regularly patrol near schools."
Gee, that's a bit different from what Arpaio was singing when he was on with Curtis.
Also, Arpaio's insistence that this program will cost nada is bogus. Already, MCSO personnel are having to come up with a plan, after the fact. And the posse members patrolling should, ideally, be supervised by MCSO staff.
This whole thing was dreamed up as a classic Joe Show stunt by Arpaio's flacks.
When Curtis asked Arpaio what the reaction to his plan has been, you can see a flicker of a grin:
"Well, we get quite a few calls from around the country..."
Which is the point, getting Joe's mug on the boob tube. Getting reporters from all over hankerin' to interview the aged autocrat.
As President George W. Bush might have said, "Mission accomplished."