Sheriff: Clark County's Mounted Patrol great asset for community

Sheriff: Clark County's Mounted Patrol great asset for community
Published: Jun. 20, 2016 at 8:39 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2016 at 10:24 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – It's the latest tool for the Clark County Sheriff's Office. Select reserve officers who patrol on horses are now available for special events and at times when they will be needed most.

The Clark County Mounted Patrol is made up of all volunteers, including four trained reserve officers. The county has to pay virtually nothing, because to be part of the patrol the officer must own and care for their own horse.

Clark County Reserve Officer Scott Pierce doesn't do this job alone. He is joined by Dixie, a 10-year-old Quarter Horse.

"I believe she enjoys being with people, she loves kids," Pierce said.

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Pierce has cared for Dixie for the last three years. He said her temperament makes her a great fit for the Mounted Patrol.

"They're a horse, they do have a brain, so they do react at their own will," Pierce said. "Luckily, she has been, like you are seeing here, standing calm. Cars are driving by and she is fine with it."

The Clark County Sheriff's Office started this program in 2015, but it has really ramped up in the last few months. Now 15-20 people are involved. Chief Deputy Bradly Jones said the patrol is a great addition during fairs and festivals, but crucial during search and rescue missions.

"If somebody was to get lost or injured, an injured hiker - the horse can get places that other people cannot get," Jones said.

That's why Pierce and Dixie were patrolling the trails at Deam Lake, getting used to the area during the daylight, so they will be ready if they were ever called back over night. This team has been to Hero's Camp, the 4H Fair and their biggest assignment yet - Thunder Over Louisville.

"They were able to able to identify somebody that was having a diabetic emergency that nobody else saw," Jones said. "Last year, at 4H Fair, because they sit up higher, people don't really know what they are and they saw somebody using drugs in the parking lot area at the fair, so they have been an asset in many ways so far."

Pierce said it's simple why he serves.

"Because I hope somebody is there if I need them," Pierce said. "I was on the fire department for several years and it's nothing like when you walk up to an incident and the person knows that you are there to help."

Those involved in the Mounted Patrol are now training for Cowboy Mounted Shooting, it's a sport, but one that would get the horses ready just in case a gun ever had to be fired while on patrol.

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