Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” has enlisted Steven Seagal, America’s leatheriest direct-to-video badass, to lead a training event designed to show 40 armed volunteers how to respond properly to a school shooting.
Six instructors and 40 armed volunteers from Arpaio’s substantial, unpaid posse will participate in the exercise. It’s scheduled for Saturday, on a school campus in suburban Phoenix, reports Reuters.
Seagal will oversee the training. Among the skills the volunteers will learn from the B-movie colossus are “entry room tactics and hand-to-hand tactics,” Arpaio’s office said in a statement. A bunch of teenagers will play the parts of students.
Participants will use semi-automatic weapons and handguns during the various exercises, Reuters reports. Marking rounds — plastic, low-power projectiles that splatter on impact — will be used as ammunition.
The publicity-seeking sheriff is probably best known for his tough stance on illegal immigration. He was also in the news last year when he sent envoys to Hawaii in a quest to track down President Obama’s birth certificate. Closer to home, Arpaio’s posse — comprised of almost 3,500 volunteers — helps the sheriff crack down on drunk drivers, illegal immigrants and deadbeat dads.
Sheriff Arpaio sent members of his unpaid posse to monitor some local schools after the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Seagal, an action movie star and martial arts maven, counts himself among the members of Arpaio’s all-volunteer posse. He starred in a number of highly successful films — primarily in the 1990s — including “Above the Law,” “Hard to Kill” and “Under Siege.” Seagal’s celebrity has dimmed in the last decade or so. He has soldiered on in Hollywood, though, appearing in a series of direct-to-DVD flicks.
In 2010, Seagal played a crooked Mexican drug kingpin in “Machete,” the movie-length version of a mock trailer that preceded “Grindhouse,” Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 double-feature.
Seagal also appeared in a reality show called “Steven Seagal: Lawman,” which followed his work as a legitimate, sworn-in reserve deputy chief in the sheriff’s office of a Louisiana parish.