This weekend another round of volunteer Maricopa County Sheriff's Office posse members will go through school shooting training. CBS 5 News wanted to know where these volunteers come from.
"We have retired generals from the military, we have retired teachers, we have housewives," said MCSO Sgt. Buddy Acritelli.
Acritelli said the volunteers come from all walks of life, but once they sign up they're all subjected to the same scrutiny.
"They go through the same background check as the deputy sheriffs," he said.
Acritelli said the background check is designed to weed out criminals and drug addicts. He said anyone who wouldn't be accepted as a police officer wouldn't make the cut into the program.
"To put it very simply if it doesn't wash, if it doesn't meet with AZ Post standards they aren't accepted into the program," Acritelli said.
And, he said, just because you're in doesn't mean you get a gun.
"We're going to a take you step by step. When you pass the background and become a member of the posse we're going to start you off at our basic level," Acritelli said.
Only after you learn the basics and pass through the middle level of training will you get to train with weapons. Those are the posse members Acritelli said you'd see in a school shooting scenario.
"If you happen to see a posse member in the school you're going to know they've gone through the same firearms training that every certified law enforcement officer in the state has gone through," he said.
Even then, Acritelli said, posse members aren't in Valley schools, they're patrolling the neighborhoods around them.
"If we are able to encounter it and diffuse a situation before it ever gets on school property then we've done our job," he said.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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