October 12, 2005
Mounted patrols from the Carolinas are getting certified this week in Aiken. News 12 is on your side with how this training is keeping you safe.
From crowd control to cuffing the culprit, eight mounted units from the Carolinas are preparing officer and horse for whatever might happen.
This is the Mounted Patrols’ annual certification. For the first time it’s in Aiken County. Dennis Ayres is the instructor.
“A trained police officer and a trained horse is an asset, otherwise it can be a liability,” Ayres said.
Aiken County’s units are training to be that asset. The sheriff’s office has a seven-member reserve patrol. Aiken Public Safety has two full-time mounted officers.
“We can look over the parking lot, but as well the criminals can see us also,” Cpl. Sonny Ford said.
Cpl. Sonny Ford patrols everything from the mall to the annual lobster race.
Ford’s horse pops up at high school football games, too. Adding a horse to those cut crime.
“We were having car break-ins. We put the horses out there and they all dried up,” Ford said.
A horse’s mobility is to thank for such success.
“On a horse your eyes can wander. If you’re on a motorcycle or bicycle or cruiser you gotta give full time to operating,” Ayres said.
Another reason horses are a help is because they’re cute and people come up to them, and that can be a powerful crime-fighting tool.
“People will walk up to you and talk to you on a horse versus in a car with the window rolled up and air conditioning on,” Ford said.
And that connection provides needed tips.
A shout out for safety in the saddle.