Four staff and three volunteer sheriff’s office members and their horses spent the week of August 19th in El Paso County learning the intricacies of police horse navigating. The team, who made up the majority of the class learned VIP escorts, vehicle extractions, and crowd control formation. In addition, they were taught how best to handle shootings and arrests while working mounted patrol.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office uses their mounted patrol unit during large events, parades, and search and rescue efforts. They are also a big favorite of both the young and the young at heart during community outreach.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor commends the group for the accomplishment, “As a rider myself, the mounted patrol is close to my heart and I believe they add a great deal to our agency,” says Taylor, “I am especially impressed that three of the volunteers earned the certification. They did it on their own time, with their own horses, and even paid for their own equipment and fees. There is no doubt their contributions mean a lot to the team and to the agency.”
One of the favorite lessons of the week was vehicle extraction. The task involves escorting a vehicle out of a rowdy crowd or a riot situation. The end goal is the safe removal of the vehicle from the crowd so the passengers can move safely out of danger. Riders are reluctant to take credit for the successful completion of this or any other lessons. They are quick to point out it is the horses that do most of the work.
Congratulations to Basic Mounted Patrol class and PCSO students Lt John Pannunzio, Sgt Sharon Ghilarducci, Detective Caitlin Graziano, Deputy Jed Blackwell and Posse Volunteers Bob Smith, Bill Wells, and Shelly Lisac!
The team enjoyed the training so much they hope to have PCSO host the class in 2014.