APRIL 9, 2014

Arpaio and Hickman say... The Posse Rides Again

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PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the citizens of Maricopa County can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the Sheriff’s volunteer posses are back to full duty.

Residents from throughout the county deluged both the Sheriff’s Office and members of the County Board of Supervisors after a brief break in service stemming from an insurance coverage issue.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, in 2012 an Office Policy was changed as recommended by County Risk Management. That change precluded the Sheriff’s Posse vehicles from being covered under a county wide insurance plan. That caused a number of posse members, out of an abundance of caution, to briefly park their marked patrol vehicles while Sheriff’s officials and officials from county government worked to correct the problem.

In a news conference today, Arpaio explained that this policy change was in fact forwarded to Sheriff’s posses back in 2012. But because the policy was not clearly highlighted or verbalized to the posses, posse members were unaware how the change should have affected them until recently.

It was when a claim was filed in November of 2013 with County Risk Management that a review of the policy uncovered the problem.

Once the policy conflict became clear, Sheriff’s Office personnel immediately notified all posses about the insurance coverage change. Subsequently posse members who endeavored to follow this policy and privately insure their vehicles, found it would cost over $50,000 per car per year to insure.

Both Sheriff Arpaio and Board of Supervisor Clint Hickman were among those who worked diligently to resolve this problem because both officials understand the importance of the posse to the citizens of this county.

“Since I took office in 1993, I promised to build up and use the posse on many different programs,” Sheriff Arpaio says “The posses have played a vital role. They volunteer their time, their money, and their energy serving the community. There is no way we could allow this program to stop, or be hindered in any way.”

Supervisor Hickman said today, “I was glad I could assist the Sheriff’s Office and continue my support of the posse.” Hickman added, “Our message today to posse members is to inform them that their insurance coverage will continue as it always has, through the county, while the posse performs its law enforcement duties. These posse members do so much for the residents of the West Valley and create huge savings for the taxpayers with their volunteer hours.”

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse’s are 112 fully marked cars strong.

Posse volunteers county wide provided 183,467.5 man hours and saved taxpayers over seven million dollars in 2013, equivalent to eighty-eight full time deputies according to Sheriff Arpaio.

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