I see no reason for private citizens like myself to be making armed patrols of public property. I run, ride horses & hike on public land. If I see some guys with rifles who are not acting like hunters, my first thought would be “Drug dealers”. And if I have a gun with me, my instinct would be to use my gun to cover my retreat.
I also go out shooting in the desert. I’ve met armed guys planning to use the same general area for target practice. Again, the context - in daytime, in an area suitable for target shooting - makes a difference.
That's what the prosecution said about Zimmerman. And maybe if the amount of crime was low enough no citizen would need to leave their house armed. And no citizen would feel the need to try to prevent crime in their area. But apparently that is not the situation in Arizona.
Law enforcement officers encounter armed civilians patrolling in lots of circumstances, including in office buildings, shopping centers, and at banks. Around power plants they also encounter armed security teams, and at some installations those teams look more like a Seal Team than a group of mall cops.
Coordination and cooperation should be the goal, not the kind of threats the Sheriff was making. The militia members need to cooperate with the LEOs too, since they presumably have the same goal. But the threats by Sheriff Arpaio evidence an attitude which is counterproductive. Would he want citizens to have the same attitude towards his men if they were on private property? I would certainly hope not.