County Sheriff Mark Lamb said the group will be used to educate the public on police, firearms, the law and how to protect themselves and their families. But, he said the group may also be called upon to help enforce the law, the Casa Grande Dispatch reported. Members of the group would be certified after completing a four-hour course.
The Board of Supervisors heard from Lamb and other citizens with concerns on Wednesday. The board’s chairman, Anthony Smith, asked to schedule another meeting to further clarify the organization’s motives, purpose and how it’s being funded.
Supervisor Pete Rios was concerned about the incongruities between Lamb’s statements.
Lamb said in one presentation that the group would primarily seek volunteers to help “chase bad guys.” In another video, Rios said the group seemed more akin to an academy program for citizens.
“I need more information,” Rios said. “I’m getting questions from citizens that I can’t answer.”
Lamb said on August 4 that more than 1,500 individuals have contacted the sheriff’s office in the days after the program was announced. He told the board that the group could serve as a launching pad for future officers.
One letter that was read by the board clerk at a hearing expressed shock that the program was even being considered.
“I don’t want a four-hour deputy with a gun in any circumstances,” the person wrote, asking the board to consider the potential for abuse or injustice.