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                                                              State of Arizona Celebrates 100 Years

This badge was optionally worn by Posse and Deputy Sheriffs and retired December 31, 2012


Updated: 2/25/2014 10:04 AM



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xcept for watching western movies, many were unaware of the present day Posse concept when they moved to Arizona.  Residents and visitors of Sun City, Sun City West, and many other communities have observed numerous Maricopa County Sheriff’s vehicles patrolling their streets and shopping centers.  These patrol vehicles are staffed with Compensated Deputy Sheriffs, Reserve Deputies, and Posse Personnel.  Observers have commented that they cannot tell the difference between the three groups.  Except for printing on the Maricopa Badge, everyone looks alike.  The question is; who actually are Posse and who are Deputy Sheriffs?


Our incumbent Sheriff, Joe Arpaio decided many years ago that there would be no obvious distinction between Posse and Deputy Patrol vehicles.  The traffic law violators, criminals, and other wrong doers may not notice the minor difference, and as a result they stay away from the more heavily patrolled areas of Sun City, Sun City West and many other communities augmented by the trained Posse members.  This perception is also true about the similar uniform that is worn by Deputy Sheriffs and Posse.  The perception concept has been very successful and areas like Sun City have shown a benefit of substantial reduced crime as compared with adjacent cities.


There are many authorized Posses, and they are located throughout Maricopa County—some in cities—and some in unincorporated areas.  A few of the Posses in Maricopa County, Arizona are highly specialized.  The end result of having over 3,500 uniformed volunteers is huge!  As an example; Posse patrols augment the Deputy patrols causing a higher presence of perceived Law Enforcement.  Posse members observe their assigned areas as trained; and report circumstances to the District Deputy Sheriffs.  The result is always a safer community. 


Note that Posse members are not Law Enforcement officers.  The Sun City Posse is not a Law Enforcement Agency.  However Posse members who are in the presence of a Regular Compensated Deputy Sheriff can do any task with appropriate authority when authorized to do so.  Due to this, all candidates are subjected to a background scrutiny, are fingerprinted, checked out by the F.B.I. and other National Databases such as N.C.I.C. 


The public can be assured that the FBI fingerprinting and background investigation has been a requirement for Posse Candidates for many years, and that is a hard fact.  Further, active Posse members must maintain conduct—on and off duty--that positively reflects the high standards of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedures.  Posse members who violate Policy or break the law are terminated forthwith.  These high standards are in place to maintain the public confidence and trust in the Posse program.  It has always been this way.


Posse members are volunteers and receive no pay from the County or community they serve.  Many are average citizens who wish to provide a service to the persons in their patrol areas.  There are a few that are former or retired police officers.  A basic Sun City Posse Member does not have to undergo physical agility testing.  A valid Arizona driver license and Sun City residence is required.  All training for the position is provided by Sun City Posse Instructors at no charge to the candidate.  Uniforms, badge, and nameplate are provided.  The duties are very low stress.  Posse patrols respond to dispatches at the speed limit and the tasks assigned are not hazardous.  In a few words, a Sun City Posse person is never placed in Harm’s Way.


A select few Sun City Posse members have completed intensive training at the Maricopa Sheriff’s Academy, and can expertly carry and deploy Handcuffs, Pepper Spray and Tasers.  These are defensive tools and are present only to protect Posse personnel. This option is available to those who wish to carry these defensive tools.  However, these qualified Posse Members must purchase and maintain the additional equipment.


Some Advanced Sun City Posse members have moved on to a higher qualification: QAP.  This stands for Qualified Armed Posse.  To obtain this qualification, a candidate must pass an eight to ten hour written psychological test, another stress test based on movie scenarios, an intensive drug test, an interview based on test results with a Psychologist, another background investigation, and a rigorous course of physical training.  The training consists of advanced defensive tactics, being drenched with Pepper or O.C. spray, weapons retention and advanced police tactics.  Finally the candidate that passes the demanding--almost arduous--physical course will move to the range and qualify with a firearm.  Posse members must qualify with their personally purchased duty pistols to Arizona POST law enforcement standards.  This means that a QAP Posse person has met the firearms requirements that a regular compensated Arizona Law Enforcement Officer must pass.  This includes the necessary mindset all law enforcement officers must have to survive a deadly threat in the field.


QAP authorized members of the Sun City Posse are still volunteers and receive no payments from Maricopa County or any other Government Agency.  Armed Posse must train and qualify to strict Arizona P.O.S.T. law enforcement standards as required using ammunition personally purchased.  Practice ammunition and duty ammunition replacement can add up to hundreds of dollars a year to each qualified member.  Ammunition purchases can include the duty pistol practice and special duty cartridges, shotgun rounds, rifle practice and special on duty cartridges.  New duty ammunition must be re-purchased every year.  Again; none of this ammunition is provided by the County of Maricopa, or any Government Agency.  No funds to the Sun City Posse go to these QAP members.  All expenses are paid for by the Posse Person.


Most of the Sun City Posse members are Basic Qualification.  The reason is; for nearly all of the duties in Sun City, possessing a firearm is not necessary.  This is a very safe endeavor that the Member’s family can be comfortable with.  It also needs to be restated that the assigned duties do not place Sun City Posse members in harm’s way.  A possible threat to Posse safety will be intercepted by the Shift Field Duty Officer and a warning to stay away from a crime scene or threat will be issued via two way radio.


Our members have commented that this duty is interesting, challenging, and worthwhile.  Many Posse members in Sun City Posse have lost count of the actual lives that they were instrumental in saving in the event of a medical, welfare, or traffic accident emergency.  The Posse is an additional layer of trained personnel.  The eyes and ears of Sun City Posse volunteers augment the Deputies ability to provide security and protection for the residents and also visitors of this Retirement Community.  In short, it is a great job to volunteer for.  The Posse Member experiences tend to sharpen and stimulate both mind and body.  This is a volunteer job that actually gives back to the Posse Members.  Very few jobs can do that.


The Sun City Posse works closely with the Sun City Fire Department.  Sun City Fire Department


Consider joining our Posse.  It is a very rewarding experience.  We have a shortage of personnel and are in need of a lot of good people.  Qualification for advanced positions is not required at all.  Candidates only have to be 50 years old to serve on the Sun City Posse.  There is no maximum age limit.  The posse helps the Sun City residents on a daily basis, and due to dedicated presence; comforts, serves, and even saves lives.  Come join the action and respond to multiple daily emergencies.  Restore that spark in your life!  Call us at the Posse Headquarters and find out why this is true. 


SEND AN E-MAIL TO OUR RECRUITMENT OFFICER  You may e-mail our Recruitment Officer for additional information     


Our phone number is 623-972-2555  Please call between 9:00 AM and Noon to ask about this position.


You can also go to the Home Page, and click on [Join Us] for more information on the Posse positions available.


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