Group tells Arpaio his posse's not welcome at schools
(Source: CBS 5 News) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A Valley group wants Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to know they don't want his volunteer posse to patrol their kid's schools in the Roosevelt School District.
The school board met Tuesday night to talk about a resolution that would let Arpaio know his posse members aren't welcome at the district's schools. But Arpaio told CBS 5 News those schools fall within his jurisdiction so he can do what he wants.
Weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, Arpaio launched a program for his volunteer armed posse members to patrol schools in unincorporated parts of Maricopa County.
"The posse under this sheriff has the authority to enforce the laws," Arpaio said.
The group, The Rise of South Phoenix, said its getting feedback from the community in South Phoenix to tell the sheriff to not patrol the 20 schools in the Roosevelt District.
"The parents don't feel safe, they don't feel any safer with his posse patrolling other school districts for the simple fact that he puts fear into the community," organizer Devin Del Palacio said.
He went on to say that parents and students would fear a patrol would turn into an immigration raid.
Currently, the posse isn't focused on the district, but Del Palacio said they want to stop it before it's an option.
"You've got a bunch of people shouting out ideas, arming teachers; posse with guns near schools. To me, rushing into a solution is not the answer," he said.
Roosevelt School District Board Member Lawrence Robinson wrote the resolution. He said this came about after listening to the community's concern.
"Our public safety is determined by Phoenix police, and it's determined by the plan we have in place. There's no place for sweeps, intimidation or fear on our schools," said Robinson before the board meeting.
Arpaio calls this is a political move.
"If we get information, even though it's in Phoenix, I will send my posse," he said. "I am the sheriff of everybody in this county."
But he says the board and the group are fussing over nothing.
"We don't do the schools in that area."
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