PHOENIX (AP) — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s office is resuming patrols by the office’s volunteer posse near schools with the start of the new school year.

The office began the posse patrols in January in the wake of the December 2012 deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Armed and uniformed posse volunteers in marked sheriff’s vehicles patrol outside and in the vicinity of elementary, middle and high schools in the sheriff’s jurisdiction.

That’s generally outside incorporated cities.

The office says the patrols are intended to provide a “heavy visual presence” to discourage criminal behavior or respond to any potential acts of violence.

Posse members underwent a simulated training exercise in July at which they responded to gunshots and explosions at a local school.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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