MCSO mall patrol provides shoppers extra measure of protection

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Volunteers from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office posse will begin patrolling Valley malls Friday to provide shoppers an extra measure of protection.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio started the mall patrol in 1993 after a series of carjackings. Since the posse program's inception, very few serious crimes of any kind have been reported, according to MCSO officials.

Hundreds of volunteers will provide thousands of man hours over the next several weeks at area malls. Arpaio said their time and resources will be used as free law enforcement assistance to shoppers and retailers throughout the Valley.

Arpaio said deputies are required to carry weapons both on and off duty and to take action wherever necessary.

Posse members will patrol outside and around Arrowhead Towne Center, Biltmore Fashion Park, Chandler Fashion Center, Desert Sky Mall, Fiesta Mall, Paradise Valley Mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Superstition Springs Center.

"Volunteerism is the backbone of any good society," Arpaio said. "The tens of thousands of man hours of law enforcement service provided by this posse for the last 22 holiday seasons is a testament to how valuable this program is to our community."