Entries in Sheriff Joe Arpaio (3)


Sheriff Arpaio Wants Armed Volunteers at Schools 

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to put armed volunteers outside schools in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting.

Arpaio said in an interview with ABC/Univision on Friday that putting armed guards around schools would deter would-be shooters from committing violent acts. He plans to place his 3,000-person strong "volunteer posse" around Phoenix-area schools for added protection.

"I think it's the appropriate time to utilize this free resource to try to prevent any more massacres," Arpaio said.

The sheriff said he has the authority to direct his volunteers to guard the schools. The "posse" includes everyone from former law enforcement officials to lawyers, Arpaio said. The sheriff's office trains them on how to use weapons properly, he said.

The remarks come shortly after National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre called for armed police officers in every school in the country.

"It doesn't matter whether they like it or don't like it," Arpaio said, regarding whether schools want armed guards. "I'm still going to do it. I can't imagine criticism coming when they're given free protection."

It's not the first time the sheriff has suggested using armed volunteers to combat violence. His posse patrolled malls following incidents in the mid-1990s, and the group has also "gone after illegal immigration and drug trafficking," he said. The posse is comprised of volunteers who donate their time free of charge.

Arpaio is well-known within the Latino community for being a staunch supporter of Arizona's immigration laws, including the "show me your papers" provision that allows officers to check the immigration status of suspects they think might be in the country without permission.

"I'm always going to get critics," Arpaio said. "They'll probably say I've got the posse out there to arrest kids who are in this country illegally. That's not the case. That's not true. They're there to protect all kids."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Challenges George Lopez

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., responded to George Lopez’s profanity-filled tirade against him by telling the comedian to come meet with him.

“Get some guts, come down here and meet me face to face. Let’s see how you act then,” Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” told ABC affiliate KNXV.

Lopez has no comment regarding Arpaio’s invitation, according to his publicist.

Lopez’s attack on Arpaio was part of the comedian’s It’s Not Me, It’s You standup comedy special on HBO Saturday night. The rant came after Lopez joked that Mitt Romney is Latino, but won’t admit it. Lopez’s comments regarding Arpaio lasted for about two minutes and included profanities in English and Spanish to a cheering crowd.

Arpaio, 80, is known for his outspoken opinions on illegal immigration and his investigation into President Obama’s eligibility to be president.

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“I was surprised at the language. It was pretty nasty,” Arpaio told ABC affiliate KNXV.

“What is he, the spokesman for the open border people?” Arpaio told KNXV. “See, I can be funny too. Now let’s see if he has the guts to meet me, and I’ll be happy to take him to a Mexican lunch.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arizona Sheriff Wants Public to Vote on 'Mug Shot of the Day'

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Over the years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona's Maricopa County has humiliated prisoners by dressing them in pink work suits and having them live in tent cities during the hottest days of summer.

Now, Arpaio's latest gimmick is asking the public to vote for their favorite "Mug Shot of the Day" by going to

The sheriff is conducting an online poll of mug shots taken of people arrested for various crimes and it's up to readers to decide which unfortunate suspect wins the "Mug Shot of the Day."

Arpaio's rationale is that it will get more people to click on the website and possibly help in criminal investigations.  He also contends that it's educational, because visitors will be exposed to different aspects of the law and learn the responsibilities of law enforcement workers.

Making fun of the disheveled and downtrodden depicted in the mug shots is probably another perk, but the sheriff isn't claiming such.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio