Border bandits in far West Texas may want to brush up on their martial arts and film presence now that action film star Steven Seagal is coming to town.
Seagal, 59, was sworn in this week as the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office newest deputy. The sheriff’s office said he’ll be working full time to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Seagal called the department himself about two months ago asking for the job.
“It became very clear to me that Mr. Seagal is not in this for the celebrity or the publicity,” Sheriff Arvin West said. “He’s like the rest of us that live down here; he has a sincere passion for his country and he wants to do more to help.”
Sheriff’s officials traveled to California to help complete the requisite paperwork, and arranged for Seagal to come to Sierra Blanca for Monday’s swearing-in ceremony and a short tour.
“He got really a taste of what we go through down here,” department spokesman Gary Fleming said. “We ran about 50 miles of the border and Deputy Seagal got a chance to meet the community and where he’s going to be working.”
An advance team went out first, of course, Fleming said, to make sure things weren’t too hot for the new deputy’s inaugural day.
Seagal made a name for himself melding a lifetime of martial arts training into film roles, starting with his successful 1988 debut in “Above the Law.”
He’s known in martial arts circles as a 7th dan black belt in Aikido, and will be teaching fellow deputies some of what he knows.
But he’s also been a trained peace officer for more than 20 years, the basis for his A&E Network’s “Steven Seagal: Lawman,” based on his workings with the sheriff’s department in Jefferson Parish, La.
Seagal’s agent didn’t immediately answer an email about Seagal’s Hudspeth plans, but Fleming said it was not part of the series.
That’s not to say Hudspeth County folks aren’t weighing their own options for a reality show some time in the future, Fleming said.
“The television aspect of what we’re doing here is the last priority,” he said. “The man has a pure motive in doing this. He knows what we’re up against here and he wants to help.”
Seagal is due to start early next year, sporting the title of “deputy chief to the chief deputy” of the 17-deputy department.
It’s unclear whether he submitted paperwork to be paid, Fleming said, but deputies earn about $15 an hour patrolling a 5,500-square-mile area with 98 miles of border.
- Steven Seagal Now Patrolling the Texas-Mexico Border (eonline.com)
- Steven Seagal Sworn in as Border Sheriff (latino.foxnews.com)
- Steven Seagal Sworn-In As Border Sheriff (huffingtonpost.com)