Arpaio arms deputies with AR-15 style rifles - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Arpaio arms deputies with AR-15 style rifles

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PHOENIX -

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is fighting back against increasingly violent criminals who are armed with the latest high powered weapons.

He's now arming his deputies with AR-15 style rifles.  Not only that, he's ordering them to protect themselves even when they're not on the job.

Arpaio says the rifles will ensure his officers are safe when faced with increasingly and more powerful weapons in the hands of criminals.

He says that each of his patrol deputies must carry a firearm with them at all times to be able to combat crime even when they aren't on duty.

"My deputies will carry guns 24 hours a day, even off duty. If they see any incident occurring, they will take action anywhere in this valley."

"We live in a violent society, even here in Maricopa County, and across our nation, and the least we can do is to arm our deputies, let's say with enough firepower to fight back."

This comes the same day a Sheriff's office employee was gunned down and killed outside of his home.

Arpaio says the Police Chief of Phoenix assured him that everything will be done by his department to tray and catch Jorge Vargas' killer.

"The police department, Phoenix is investigating this incident, assisted by our office."

Arpaio says he purchased all 400 of the Smith & Wesson rifles with money seized during arrests.

Related story: MCSO detention officer gunned down in driveway

What do you think about Arpaio's decision? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/19glOPt.

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