Pinal County’s sheriff plans to create an armed, all-volunteer posse to help spot drug smugglers and do intelligence support.
Sheriff Paul Babeu’s announcement was made with Sen. Sylvia Allen, who has sponsored legislation early this year to establish an armed volunteer border guard. The bill didn’t pass the House.
Babeu said Wednesday the posse will not patrol or make arrests. He says they’ll instead be used as the eyes and ears of the sheriff’s tactical units in parts of western Pinal County where smugglers are prevalent.
An existing armed posse transports prisoners and assists deputies on patrol.
Babeu says members of the new unit will get 100 hours of training and a background check.
Democratic Rep. Chad Campbell says that arming posse members without full police training is irresponsible.