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Friday, January 25, 2013 - 00:50
Steven Seagal is walking off red carpets and on to the front lines of law enforcement.
The 60 year-old Hollywood actor was sworn in as a sheriff's deputy in Doña Ana County on Tuesday. While many are a fan of the action-movie hero, some feel uneasy that he plays a similar role in real life.
"We don't just deputize random citizens. You have to provide proof of certification, training," says Kelly Jameson, spokesperson for Doña Ana County.
County officials argue deputizing Seagal is a strategic move for everyone. He has nearly 30 years of experience as a peace officer, and his background also includes military and special forces training.
"Within the line of training our officers, he brings a level of tactical support and other training that's very valuable," says Hudspeth County spokesperson, Rusty Fleming.
Officials insist Seagal is certainly not in it for the money. He's driven to public service by his passion for protecting our borders.
"This is not just a short term gig or something that he does for celebrity or anything else," says Fleming.
But a video from Arizona seems to argue otherwise. It was shot by a production crew for Seagal's reality show, "Lawman," when the actor was accompanying Arizona Sheriffs on a raid to bust a man suspected of cockfighting. It shows a Hollywood-style arrest of Jesus Llovera, who was allegedly unarmed and alone in his home.
"This was a waste of man power. This was a waste of tax payer money. This was overkill... This was quite a production," says Llovera's attorney, Robert Campos.
Llovera is suing Seagal for $100,000 because he has the actor drove into his home and killed his puppy. Llovera's attorney says two armored vehicles, a bomb squad, including the robot, several K9 units, and dozens of tactical operations members all to arrest one man, is nothing more than a way to make Seagal's reality show more exciting.