FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had a famous face by his side Saturday afternoon as he trained members of his posse to defend Valley schools.
Arpaio and Hollywood action star Steven Seagal were joined in Fountain Hills by teenagers and members of the MCSO SWAT team to run through different simulated scenarios with posse members.
The teens played the role of students, while SWAT deputies pretended to be gunmen planning to shoot up the school.
Posse members practiced addressing the threats with rifles and handguns that fired blanks.
Like many activities involving Sheriff Arpaio, Saturday’s training exercise drew a large range of opinions.
Protesters both supporting and opposing Arpaio’s plan to have posse members patrol schools were on hand to voice their opinions.
Arpaio said he’s simply trying to protect the Valley’s children, and his volunteers allow him to do that at no cost to the taxpayer.
“I want everyone to know that we’re going to be around the schools,” said Arpaio. “If anyone does something, we’re going in to save our kids.”
Seagal said he wanted to support Arpaio because he believes in the Sheriff’s plan to protect kids.
Seagal added that his qualifications need not be questioned because he has gone through thousands of hours of weapons training.
Sheriff Arpaio announced his plan to have posse members patrol certain Phoenix-area schools in the wake of the December shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The move has been met with mixed opinions throughout the Valley.