Who knew? SCHOA first suggested forming a “Sheriff’s Squadron” in 1962. Nothing happened until 1973, when Maricopa County officials organized a local study group that suggested training volunteers titling them “The Sheriff’s Posse of Sun City.”
SCHOA recruited about forty volunteers who met on September 10, 1973 with training officers from the Sheriff’s Department. On completion of instructions, members were sworn in by the Sheriff. They drove their own vehicles and had no identifiable uniforms. The solution was white plastic helmets and whistles.
By 1975 the Posse numbered 250 members, and the unique volunteers became nationally famous. By1977 the Posse was able to purchase and equip multiple station wagons. In 1978 members were issued uniforms; “yellow jumpsuits with the proper insignia” and began the popular “Vacation Watch Program.”
By the early 80’s, the Posse grew in both size and stature, bought additional equipment, and elected a female Commander. The Posse had become the “eyes and ears” of Sun City. Their efforts were also noticed outside of Sun City as illustrated best by President Ronald Reagan’s visit to the Posse on May 6, 1983.
Fast forward to 2017 when active membership dropped to historic lows. Substantial increases in training requirements had been imposed by court order to the Sheriff. Undaunted, the Sun City Posse reinvented itself and reduced the training to a more appropriate level. Those changes saved the organization. Their vehicles now read Sun City Posse. Members continue to patrol and do vacation watches along with performing a myriad of other services. They remain an incredibly important presence in Sun City, and their efforts continue to be loved by the community.
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