Steven Seagal to join Arpaio at posse training Saturday

Steven Seagal to join Arpaio at posse training Saturday

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PHOENIX -

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's volunteer posse will conduct training this weekend, all to prepare posse members to protect schools in the event of an attack like we saw in Newtown Connecticut.

One of the people leading the training Saturday is actor Steven Seagal.

He's been a member of the sheriff's posse for 2 years, but has spent 20 plus years in volunteer law enforcement.

Seagal's presence has invited criticism that the sheriff is turning a serious subject into a publicity stunt. FOX 10's John Hook talked to them Friday night.

"I don't want to insult Steven but I don't think I need Steven," said Joe Arpaio.

Hook: "Do you worry you detract from the serious business tomorrow?"

"When I am with a SWAT team or another team and we kick in a door and there's a bunch of bad guys in there with guns, do you think for a second out of the thousands of times this has happened, a bad guy looks up and says ‘hey there's a movie star?' They don't have time! [Guys on my team] know me as one of them. None of us have time for that nonsense," said Seagal.

Hook: "You've taken some heat over bringing Steven in for this."

"What else is new? Hey I'm the sheriff let ‘em go criticize and that's sad. I'm going to tell you something. He's here to help. But you know what, if I take all the heat it's worth it if they come to see him, great. Let them all come I don't care," said Arpaio.

"We will be using flash bangs, we'll have hostages, we'll have hostage takers. I'll be one of the ones leading the training," said Seagal.

Hook: "And he is every bit as qualified as any of your top guys at MCSO to lead the training?"

"Yeah and also don't forget we have 3,050 volunteer posse persons from all different walks of life," said Arpaio.

Hook: "Steven, do you ever feel that you're a prop for the sheriff?"

"No. Once again, that kind of thing never entered my mind. The sheriff wasn't the only person to call me, there were other people that called me from SWAT, and different areas of Maricopa County who are aware of my skills, they said 'man we'd really like you to come help us with this.' So it wasn't just the sheriff at all… other people were the first people to ask me," said Seagal.

"None of us think this is a joke. Especially him, especially me and all of my SWAT brothers and sisters and all of my deputies and all of these volunteers that risk their life -- none of them think this is a joke."

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