Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:30 AM EDT2013-06-19 11:30:23 GMT
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FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (CBS5) -
About 50 of Maricopa County sheriff's posse volunteers joined forces with an action movie star to train to defend schools against gunmen.
Three different simulated school shooting scenarios played out at Four Peaks Elementary School.
"I want everyone to know we're going to be around those schools and if you do something we will be armed and we're going into the schools," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Actor Steven Seagal helped train on hand-to-hand defense tactics, among other techniques.
Arpaio made the decision to put his armed volunteer posse members in 60 Maricopa County schools after deputies discovered that a 16-year-old student in Mesa had planned to shoot up her high school last month.
Since then Arpaio has taken a lot of heat. Critics say it's dangerous for people who aren't trained law enforcement to be armed around schools.
As for Saturday's training, Fountain Hills City Councilwoman Ginny Dickey called it a publicity stunt.
"I feel this sensationalizes the tragedy of Sandy Hook for political gain," said Dickey.
Outside of the school, protestors engaged in a shouting match with Arpaio supporters while another shooting scenario unfolded in front of dozens of cameras.
Some people could be heard cheering when posse members took down the gunman.
Arpaio is working to recruit 1,000 more volunteers to be in his armed school posse patrol.
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UPDATEAZ sheriff's armed posse takes on simulated school shootersMore>>