Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office raked in more than a quarter of a million dollars selling off seized firearms and will put the funds toward supplying its volunteer armed posse members with ammo and radio equipment.
“My posse responds to situations that could be life-threatening,” said county sheriff Joe Arpaio in a statement issued last week. “They need to be ready to protect themselves, the deputies they are supporting, and any innocent bystanders in potentially violent situations.”
The seized firearms, which were slotted for destruction, sold for $257,443. More than $140,000 will go toward buying ammo — 9mm, .45 and .223 rounds — and $102,656 will cover radio equipment.
The office said the Posse Mall Patrol launched in 1993, but Arpaio has called the group to action in the wake of high-profile mass shootings.
In the recent statement, he referenced the December mass shooting carried out by a married couple with ties to Islamic extremists in neighboring San Bernardino, California. The couple murdered 14 people and injured 22 others.
In February 2013, two months after 20 first-graders and six educators were killed by a deranged gunman at Sandy Hook in Connecticut, Arpaio teamed with actor Steven Seagal to train the posse on how to respond to school shootings.