Recall the ancient schmuck at the beginning of this video? Count him as one more reason you can give posse members the raspberries with impunity
Ever wonder who the pathetic wannabes are that populate Sheriff Joe's posse? You know, the semi-senile geriatrics who patrol the malls at Christmas time, and aid and abet Arpaio's goon squads as they tear immigrant mothers from their kids and collar migrants whose only crime is trying to feed their families?
Well, wonder no longer. Through the magic of Arizona public records law, I have obtained from the sheriff's office what it claims is the complete active posse roster, an estimated 2,400 of your fellow citizens who like to pretend they have all the powers of sworn peace officers, when in fact, they have none. All they're supposed to do is assist the real beige-shirts in their duties. But the fact that they often wear uniforms dreadfully similar to the deputies, and sometimes walk around with guns on their pear-shaped hips, makes them occasionally difficult to pluck out from the real deal.
The big diff, of course, is that you don't have to give these posse gramps and grannies the time of day, no matter how well camoflaged they are as MCSO deputies. Other than the Christmas patrols, the best thing they're known for is misinforming the public that they can't videotape deputies operating in public -- though numerous dunderheaded deputies do this too. Oh, and there was that big scandal a couple of years back when the toupee-wearers got a little too friendly with ladies of the evening during some prostitution stings. End result: Some nekkid posse fogies copped free feels, and the County Attorney (then Rick Romley) refused to prosecute the tainted cases.
Any noteworthies in the current roster? Well, there's Michelle Dallacroce, founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, whose name is mentioned as part of the so-called community services posse. There's also a listing for Arizona historian/cowboy Marshall I. Trimble, unless there's another Marshall I. Trimble out there. (I e-mailed Trimble using the address on his Web site, but no response yet.) Trimble is a member of the "executive" posse, the name of which makes me think of a bunch of ornery Yosemite Sams sitting around on a veranda, drinking mint juleps out of Mason jars.
Lickspittle sheriff's sycophant Len Sherman -- the hack who helped Arpaio write his two memoirs -- is in posse "enforcement support." MCSO finance chief Loretta Barkell is a member of the posse MPCA, which apparently has to do with the prevention of cruelty to animals. Even Arpaio's spouse Ava does her part as a member of the Fountain Hills posse. I don't see any references to Joe's son Rocco, but there is a "John S. Arpaio" listed for the Sun City West posse. If anyone knows what the relation is -- assuming there is one -- please let me know.
There is a name that's similar to that of a member of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Chris Simcox's erstwhile organization. But I need to verify this before I get more specific. I've gone over this roster a couple of times, and after the first thousand names, my eyes start to glaze over. Perhaps others of you out there will spot some individuals worthy of a spotlight. If so, feel free to share.
UPDATE 9/22/09: Just got this note from Arizona state historian Marshall Trimble regarding his posse participation. As for the question in the comments below about whether or not posse members can carry guns, the answer is yes, according to this May 6, 2009 press release, referring to what the MCSO calls "qualified armed posse volunteers," who are supposedly requiured to have a little more training.
Hi Stephen: I can't remember exactly when I joined the posse but it was about three sheriff's ago. I think it would have been in the early 1980s. It was called the Executive Posse then and only had five or six members. All had some kind of specialty. I was a historian, the person who brought me in was an anthropologist. Another was a medical doctor and I can't recall now what the other specialties were.
In the last several years my schedule hasn't allowed me the time to participate in any of their duties or activities. These days I pay the annual dues as a donation to the organization. I've been a guest speaker at their meetings a couple of times over the past few years.
Hope this helps, Best, Marshall