Feb 9, 2013 11:57 AM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - The self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff" is joining forces this weekend with action movie star Steven Seagal to train volunteer armed posse members to defend Phoenix-area schools against gunmen.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced the controversial plan in the wake of the December Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
The exercise is planned for Saturday at a closed school site in suburban Phoenix where sheriff's SWAT members will act as shooters and 25 teenagers will play the part of students during mock scenarios involving up to three gunmen.
The sheriff's office says Seagal, best known for his roles in movies such as "Above the Law" and "Under Siege," will lead training on hand-to-hand defense tactics, among other techniques, drawing from his expertise in martial arts.