"You could say everything I do is a publicity stunt." — Sheriff Joe ArpaioSadly, few people are surprised by this, that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio would use the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to get his pasty mug on the TV news. Here's a county sheriff, after all, who most people in America know and have an opinion about. What other county sheriff can most of us name? One way Arpaio achieves his notoriety, of course, is by saying and doing stupid shit, from birtherism and immigration sweeps to pink underwear, and then by making sure the TV cameras are rolling when he does them. Arpaio's reality show also helps pump up his image as "America's toughest sheriff."
Arizona Republic columnist Ed Montini wrote Tuesday that Arpaio and his favorite TV partner, worn-out actor Steven Seagal, who sometimes co-stars in the sheriff's reality show, will conduct a full-day training exercise for his posse members that'll teach the volunteers how to protect our schools. Montini quotes from the Sheriff's press release:
"Instructors from the Sheriff’s Office SWAT division as well as certified instructor/actor/posse volunteer Steven Seagal will lead the all-day training exercises on various aspects on shooting scene management including room entry tactics and hand to hand tactics."As Montini suggested, it might've been a good idea to hold the training for Arpaio's 3,000 volunteer posse members before posting them at more than 50 schools throughout Maricopa County. But then, that would've taken time, and Arpaio wanted to take advantage of the PR opportunity that NRA clown Wayne LaPierre provided when he urged America to arm schools to the teeth.
Surprisingly, the sheriff had been beaten to the punch by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who proposed his plan to arm school principals immediately after LaPierre's infamous press conference. Horne was awfully pleased with his plan, calling it "an original Tom Horne idea," but stealing the limelight doesn't sit well with Arpaio, and so the sheriff rushed to get his volunteer posse scheme in the news the very next day.
It didn't matter that the idea wasn't thought through, that the posse's volunteers are not certified, that schools had not asked for the added security, or that some communities told Arpaio to stay away, fearing that posse members might harass Hispanic students and parents. No, none of that mattered, and the sheriff was on the national cable shows that day bragging up his new program.
Let's hope his training exercise with Seagal goes better than some of their operations, like the time the dynamic duo took a tank to South Phoenix to break up a cock-fighting ring and drove their boy toy into suspect Jesus Llovera's house. He sued.
The Sheriff's Office, which used "a tank, a bomb robot and 40 deputies," according to the Arizona Republic, accidentally killed over 100 of Llovera's roosters and his 11-month old dog during the course of the raid.So this Saturday Arpaio will be in Fountain Hills, the tony community where he happens to live, to conduct his training exercise before the local media. The bad guys with guns will be sure to tune in, so they can study the posse's tactics.
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