The Pueblo Chieftan

7 earn certificate from mounted patrol

Members of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and volunteers with the mounted patrol attended a class in El Paso County that showed riders and horses how to handle large events, parades and search and rescue efforts. (Special to The View)
Members of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and volunteers with the mounted patrol attended a class in El Paso County that showed riders and horses how to handle large events, parades and search and rescue efforts. (Special to The View)

Navigating through large crowds can be tricky business.

On foot and even inside a patrol car is no easy task.

Yet there are intricacies to navigating through crowds, especially on horse back.

That’s what four staff members and three volunteer Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office members — as well as their horses — learned the week of Aug. 19 in El Paso County, learning the intricacies of police horse navigating.

The staff and volunteers were Lt. John Pannunzio, Sgt. Sharon Ghilarducci, Detective Caitlin Graziano, Deputy Jed Blackwell and Posse Volunteers Bob Smith, Bill Wells and Shelly Lisac

“As a rider myself, the mounted patrol is close to my heart, and I believe they add a great deal to our agency,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor.

The team, who made up the majority of the class, learned VIP escorts, vehicle extractions and crowd control formation.

They also were taught how to best 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 also are a big favorite of both the young and the young at heart during community outreach, said Lisa Shorter, public informations officer for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

The students said one of the favorite lessons of the week was vehicle extraction, Shorter said.

“The task involved escorting a vehicle out of a a rowdy crowd or riot situation,” she said.

The end goal was the safe removal of the car from the crowd so the passengers could move safely out of danger, she said.

Three of the volunteers earned the mounted patrol certification.

“They did it on their own time, with their own horses, and even paid for their own equipment and fees,” Taylor said. 

“There is no doubt their contributions mean a lot to the team and to the agency.”

Riders are reluctant to take credit for the successful completion of this or any other lessons, Shorter said. They said “they are quick to point out it is the horses that do most of the work.”

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