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Sheriff Joe: Deputies Now Carry Patrol Rifles 24/7

August 09, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of Maricopa County SO.
Photo courtesy of Maricopa County SO.
Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has issued AR-15s to each of his deputies and ordered them to carry the patrol rifles whether they are on or off duty.

Earlier this week, Arpaio's office received 400 Smith & Wesson AR-15s that have been paid for with asset-forfeiture seizures.

"The monies that allowed us to make this significant weapon buy come from our RICO fund," Arpaio said in a press release. "That is money seized in drug raids and human smuggling operations. As a result, taxpayers are not footing the bill."

Deputies must have access to the rifle 24 hours a day, Sheriff Arpaio said. The deputies have already undergone qualification training with the weapons. The initiative follows increasing violence against the agency's deputies since 2012.

"Last year, two of our deputies died under violent circumstances, and this year a deputy was shot several times but survived," Arpaio said. "Therefore, I want all my deputies to be armed with the greatest firepower available 24 hours a day."

Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Lenny @ 8/9/2013 6:50 PM

Boy, I would sure hate to walk on this guys lawn.

"Therefore, I want all my deputies to be armed with the greatest firepower available 24 hours a day."
Why not RPGs?

Brian @ 8/10/2013 4:46 PM

There we go. Another liberal idiot taking things to the extreme. RPG's really? When is the last time someone got shot on the street with an RPG in the US? If criminals have the weapons then so should our law enforcement personnel.

David Evans @ 8/11/2013 9:08 PM

As a serving Australian Police Officer I find the level and degree of firearm usage on both sides of the thin blue line in the US is incredible. I know you have the constitutional right to bear arms but where do you draw the line? Allowing civilians access to weapons up to and including military spec is to me simply madness.

Lt. M.C. Williams @ 8/12/2013 2:37 PM

With all due respect to David Evans, our Constitution is the ONLY line that matters. The intent of the 2nd Amendment is that we have the ability to defend against tyranny -- initially the same tyrannical government that colonized Australia, mind you. Tyranny exists in many forms (not just governments) -- including criminals. Moreover, both law enforcement and the civilians we serve should be able to adequately outgun the criminal element we face. Kudos to Joe for taking care of his people.

Alan @ 8/12/2013 2:41 PM have no idea what it's like to walk a beat. David...I can read and the stats say that in your country violent crime has increased 53% since your government outlawed firearms. My friend in an inspector over there. She said it was one of the worst decisions made.

Lt.M.C. Williams @ 8/12/2013 2:59 PM

This associated article here in provides the best explanation of why we need to be better armed:

John Carp @ 8/12/2013 3:13 PM

In deference to Lenny's undoubted lengthy career as a Law Enforcement Officer......I thought this was an LE forum...
Just say'in
David, you are compareing subjects to citizens and this is an Apples to Oranges comparison. Unless you embrace the America ideology, you'll never get it. No argument with you sir, we are just from different lands. Lt. M.C Williams I couldn't say more then your eloquent response!
As a 25 year Law Enforcement Officer, I also appalud Sheriff Joe!
He has been a long time hero of mine, not because he is perfect or makes the perfect descision ever time. No one does. But he is a man of his word and he clearly walks the walk he holds his Deputies to.
When he makes an informed choice, he sticks by it and owns it.
Additionally, throughout his career there has been no room for doubt.
Blue flows through the man's veins!
Even though I am a Law Enforcment Officer, when I see the sign saying entering Maricopa County I look at the speedometer and lift my foot from the gas! No one, wants to be on Sherriff Joes bad side.....
I would work for him in a heartbeat, if I could get my wife to live in free America.
Just say'in
Very respectfully

john @ 8/12/2013 3:56 PM

Well said, Lt. Williams.

God Bless the 2nd Amendment & the Constitution, that's what keeps America free. Something the foreigners know nothing about.

Capt. Crunch @ 8/12/2013 4:26 PM

Right on Joe.

Chuck @ 8/12/2013 5:22 PM

Good on them!! I would rather have it and not need it; than need it and not have it.

I'm a former LEO and even I keep an AR with 120-rounds in pre-loaded magazines in the trunk of my car. Even if the bad guy only had a sharp stick, I would still prefer to be carrying the AR.

deputybob @ 8/12/2013 6:22 PM

Right on America's Sheriff. I have not seen his qualities in many leaders.

deputybob @ 8/12/2013 6:22 PM

Right on America's Sheriff. I have not seen his qualities in many leaders.

[email protected] @ 8/12/2013 8:33 PM

John Carp, couldn't have said it better. Blues, Stay Safe.

gp cobb @ 8/12/2013 10:00 PM

Yahoooooooo JOe, Bout F'ing time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chief P @ 8/13/2013 9:47 AM

@ David

Thought I would educate you a bit in reference to how things go on this side of the pond but wanted to educate you a bit on how things are currently going on your side. Were you aware that violent crime in Australia is almost 5 times higher than the USA? Our citizens shoot people that attempt these violent crimes against them or their family on almost a daily basis. The subjects in Australia don’t, they become victims on a daily basis and if they even try to defend themselves against the attacks you prosecute them as well.

The USA is fine and we will take care of it on our end, you have WAY too much to be dealing with to even worry about how it is here. The US is extremely safe compared to Australia. There is really no comparison.

Very proud to be behind a badge during the same time as Sheriff P. He will be in history books in years to come.

James @ 8/13/2013 11:13 AM

Right on, Sheriff Joe! Finally have someone willing to do the right thing. The more I hear and see of him, the more I like his style!

David Evans @ 8/14/2013 5:12 AM

Gentlemen, I meant no disrespect to LEOs and agree they should be appropriately armed. It is just a pity that Police have to be armed to this degree just to ensure they are able to come home after their shift.
I concede that Policing in the US is different to Aus for many reasons. I did read the articles suggested to me by your readers (Lt Williams) but I am a little disappointed at the tone of the some of the responses to my piece. There were several factual errors such as firearms being outlawed in Aus., or the stat of violent crime being higher. However, there is one thing that is undeniable to even the most myopic and that is the sheer number of firearms of all types in the US. Simple logic will tell you that more firearms means more firearm incidents. I know this will sound like heresy, but after reading your own FBI statistics for LEO's killed (feloniously) in the line of duty 2012 to 2003 I stopped counting at 533. It was too depressing. One officer down is one too many.

1234 @ 8/14/2013 12:12 PM

@ David
Brother, you are on the wrong site if you are looking for people that don't base everything off of fear and/or self righteousness. They are sitting back waiting on "the big one" to happen. But be reaasured that this country is full of Americans who realize that God is the only hope we have in these end times. Yes, he wants us to protect our families and those who cannot protect themselves, but even He says "enough is enough". My advice is that you read the articles and stay away from the drama that some of them may incite.

Jeff @ 8/26/2013 12:29 PM

@ David

The reason Joe is buying AR-15s for his deputies, is because of the spill over of illegal aliens, mexican drug cartel members, very violent types that don't even belong over here. He's not doing it for the heck of it. There is a "war" of types in Arizona that he is having to deal with as is all of us mexico border states. Here is a link to a youtube video, from the mouths of your own countrymen, including LEOs:

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