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MCSO: Audit reveals sex offenders, domestic violence offenders on posse

People with prior criminal arrests and convictions have been removed from the posse program as posse members undergo background checks, MCSO says.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that sex offenders and people convicted of domestic violence were found to be serving on its volunteer posse.

People who had been arrested or convicted for sex offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses and other offenses have been removed from the posse after an audit of the program, according to MCSO.

MCSO said poor record-keeping was the reason these individuals were allowed to participate in posse activities.

The posse program consisted of non-compensated positions made up of people from all walks of life who wanted to assist MCSO in operations, including search and rescue, crime scene security, patrol support, administrative assistance, civil functions, disaster relief and emergency details, per the MCSO website.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced last month that the posse program was suspended after only four out of 235 armed posse members passed the background check, polygraph test, psychological exam, urinalysis and were deemed qualified to operate a gun.

RELATED: More weapons missing from Arpaio days, Maricopa Co. Sheriff Penzone says

Going forward, those seeking to become armed posse members will need to complete a background interview, a polygraph, a psychological exam and a drug screen.

The posse members who don't carry guns will need to undergo at least a background interview.

The background of every posse member will be rechecked every two years, MCSO said.

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