The Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department has called in Hollywood “mainstay” Steven Segal to become an instructor in school security for the volunteer posse.
Segal is uniquely qualified to instruct law enforcement in mock simulations. Mr. Segal brings with him considerable experience including counter terrorism on submarines, trains, and even prisons.
Segal also boasts years of experience as a commissioned sheriff’s deputy.
In the events following the Newtown shooting, school security has become a priority in the country and especially in Maricopa County. Sherriff Joe Arpaio sent his volunteer posse to defend schools in the county. But, that wasn’t enough.
Arpaio brought in Segal to impart his specialized skills. Segal led the counter-conflict scenario with the help of 48 high school students who acted as potential victims.
The volunteer posse members, which includes Lou Ferrigno (the original Incredible Hulk), will continue their training. Arpaio’s goal is for them to receive over 100 hours of training and keep them posted at schools, some armed with automatic weapons. However, these individuals will not enter schools unless they perceive an “immediate threat.”
Under Arizona law, “[a] person is justified in threatening or using both physical force and deadly physical force against another if and to the extent the person reasonably believes that physical force or deadly physical force is immediately necessary to prevent the other’s commission of murder, aggravated assault or other such crimes.” (ARS 13-411(a)).
This law may seem alright, but section C of 13-411 details that a person is presumed to be acting reasonably if the person is acting to prevent what the person reasonably believes to be a serious threat.
This situation brings up a number of issues. People are understandably concerned about having any weapons on school grounds. Any “immediate threat” recognized by a volunteer could be neutralized with deadly force. Having a protection force of volunteers is good in theory, but apprehension arises when a volunteer is trusted to use deadly force.
When it comes to protecting children, it’s understandable that people would be uncomfortable allowing volunteer posse members use deadly force when they deem it necessary. Though the volunteers may come out of Mr. Segal’s and Sheriff Arpaio’s program with a better understanding of how to recognize and deal with threats, there is no guarantee that they will be as well trained as traditional law enforcement.
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