Arizona sheriff creates ‘Citizens Posse’ to deputize residents

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. — If widespread unrest or a major emergency befell Pinal County, Sheriff Mark Lamb wants to be prepared.

So, he created a "Citizens Posse" program to deputize residents.

“As Sheriff of Pinal County, I am given the authority to deputize civilians to assist in law enforcement,” Lamb said. “While we hope such an action is never required, we want to make sure those willing to step into the role are trained and ready.”

Applicants will be required to pass a minimal background check and sign a waiver. They then take a four hour training course covering basic constitutional law, search and seizure, firearm safety, home safety and the use of force.

“It’s just an opportunity to get them to more education,” Lamb told The Arizona Republic. “They can hopefully squelch some of the frustration that they’re feeling right now in these uncertain times and at the same time get some training.”

The department has already received 400 applications, The Arizona Republic reported.

Although there have been no reports of unpeaceful protests in Pinal County, Lamb decided on the move as a way to engage the community.

“We have a lot of people chime in on things they don’t have any clue about. I see so many people talking about police work, and they don’t have the slightest clue about what it’s like to go out and do the job, yet they’re out there running their mouth about it,” Lamb said. “If you don’t like how police are then come be a cop and help us change it.”

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