Sun City Posse looking forward to golden anniversary

Organization to celebrate 50 years serving the community in October

Posted 9/18/23

The Sun City Posse is a volunteer organization that patrols the neighborhoods and community to detect and deter crime and assist residents in many other ways.

This organization put in 66,152 …

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Sun City Posse looking forward to golden anniversary

Organization to celebrate 50 years serving the community in October


The Sun City Posse is a volunteer organization that patrols the neighborhoods and community to detect and deter crime and assist residents in many other ways.

This organization put in 66,152 volunteer hours in 2022, said Sarah Davis, Sun City Posse Commander. The Posse, which has 175 members, will celebrate 50 years of continuous service to the community in October.

“We are the eyes and ears for the Sheriff and an added layer of peace of mind to the Sun City community,” Davis said.
The patrols are useful because Sun City does not have a police force, she added.

“The Posse is no longer affiliated with the (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office), but still supportive of the sheriff’s office and the sheriff still supports us,” said Danny Moore, posse executive officer. The posse separated from MCSO in 2017, “but we are basically the same as before.”

From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, the group is holding its 50th Anniversary Fall Jubilee in the parking lot of its headquarters at 10861 W. Sunland Drive, said media relations officer Teresa O’Dell.

At the event, The Lone Mountain Band will perform live music and the Sun City Poms, a dance and cheerleading group, will also perform, O’Dell said.

Other activities at this free event include pumpkin painting, a corn maze, canine demonstrations by MCSO; the Sun City Fire Department will bring its ladder truck, she said. Hot dog and ice cream trucks will be on hand to serve complimentary refreshments.

The Posse’s sponsors are: The Nixon Group, Kathleen Holtz/NFM Lending, First Integrity Title and Bill Romley/State Farm Insurance.

“Recreation Centers of Sun City will be acknowledged as ‘Ongoing and continual supporter of the Sun City Posse,” Davis said.

Davis described the many services the Posse performs.

“Trained Posse members patrol Sun City neighborhoods, businesses, and houses of worship in an effort to deter crime and offer assistance to residents. We get 1,200 calls a month into our dispatch asking for assistance on something. It could be the caller saw a coyote in their yard, there is a lost pet, or {to assist} a person with dementia who wandered away.”

The volunteers also perform funeral watches, she said. They watch the house of a person who is attending a funeral because someone might read that in an obituary and know the person is not at home and try to enter the house.

Cindy Aseltine, master sergeant of the Posse’s Traffic Division, said she volunteers because her “family has a long history of community involvement and service, and the Posse is one of the best places to continue that service.”

“Upon moving to Sun City, I found that I had extra time and decided to join a group that does their best to make this community a safer and great place to live,” Aseltine said. “The members of the Sun City Posse are the eyes and ears of the law enforcement agency, Maricopa County Sheriff. We actively search out situations that need to be brought to the Sheriff’s attention.”

“By patrolling in highly visible patrol units we believe we are a great deterrent to the criminal element that would prey on the residents of this community,” she said. “The largest part of our commitment is doing house checks when residents are away for extended periods of time. This provides not only the homeowner but all the neighbors an added level of criminal deterrent.”

Another posse member Karen Markwardt-Blakewell said: “The Sun City Posse is a community service for the people in Sun City. We serve the community by patrolling the community in search of unwanted or unusual events that may be helpful if the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office were to intervene. If you ‘go back home’ for the hot summer months, we watch your house for such things as an unlocked door, broken window, or unwanted running water at your house. We continue to watch for people and/or animals in distress especially during the hot summer months. To organize and maintain approximately 175 volunteers has many areas of responsibility.”

Davis said the group exists as a nonprofit strictly on donations from the local community.

“The Sun City Posse is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 community service corporation made up entirely of volunteers who reside in Sun City,” Davis said. “Oversight is provided by an elected commander and board of governors — all are volunteers. Posse services are targeted for the needs of the senior community. All operations are funded 100% through donations; we receive no taxpayer monies or grants.’

The Posse owns and operates out of its 12,000-square-foot building at 10861 W. Sunland Drive, Davis said, operating a fleet of posse patrol cars and a garage for service. It had another facility at the Grand Center, 10415 W. Grand Avenue and a call center as well.

Among the services it provides are welfare checks, emergency contacts, vacation watches, helping with neighborhood watches among others, Davis said.

The Posse’s origin came about because “in 1973, there were a group of concerned Sun City citizens that would patrol the streets on bicycles, golf carts or personal vehicles,” Davis said.

“They had a roll of dimes so that if they saw something suspicious, they would stop at a phone booth and make a call to the sheriff’s office. The Posse began in June 1973 and started training by the Civil Defense as an auxiliary police force. In 1973 a Sun City resident who worked for the Sheriff’s office was instrumental in getting the Sheriff’s Posse started in Sun City, and applications were accepted for a Sheriff’s Posse. It was the beginning of the Posse and we were to assist “in the event of a disaster in this retirement community.”

To volunteer with the Posse, Davis said a resident needs:

  • Live in Sun City;
  • To prove they are available at least six months of the year;
  • Have a valid driver’s license for patrol volunteers or valid state ID card for support services;
  • Be of good moral character and be of the minimum age of 50.

Patrol officers are expected to work 384 hours per year — an average of four shifts and two meetings per month. Support Services are expected to work 240 hours per year — average four shifts and two meetings per month.

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