PHOENIX - Sheriff Joe Arpaio is adding some muscle to his immigration enforcement efforts by swearing in 59 volunteers who will be tasked specifically to illegal immigration issues.
"We received many calls from the public," Arpaio said. "They want to join this new posse, which shows their interest in giving back to the community in doing something to fight this problem."
Among the volunteers sworn in were some celebrities, including actor Lou Ferrigno, who is known for his role as the Incredible Hulk, as well as action star Steven Segal.
Ferrigno, who is is a California resident and a deputy in L.A., joined Sheriff Arpaio at the swearing in Wednesday afternoon.
"I am here because of my strong stance," he said. "This posse is the power of the county."
The Sheriff has 59 other posses operating in Maricopa County. This posse will recieve special training in immigration issues and will be primarily used in drop house investigations and immigration sweeps.
"They wear the same uniforms, you can't tell the difference," said Arpaio.
All the posse members go through the same background check as deputies.
Of the 59 posse members, 33 are armed. They will often ride with deputies and offer support in making arrests and crowd control.
The Sheriff said his posses have saved tax payers millions.
Protesters who gathered accross the street called the whole thing a stunt.
"They must have sunk pretty low in their career to stand by Sheriff Joe Arpaio," said Tupac Enrique who protested with the small group.
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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