The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office Mounted Patrol Unit is a supportive unit of the Patrol Bureau. It is comprised of both full time and volunteer sworn personnel who donate their time and talent to the unit dealing with traffic control, crowd control and community relations.
The Mounted Unit began in the early 1980s when deputies would ride their horses at the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival grounds, as they still do, assisting with parking cars and parking lot security. The unit grew throughout the next several years and began working various other special events such as the Lancaster Festival events, parades, and emergency responses to missing persons. It is much easier for deputies to monitor various terrains on horseback than on foot or in vehicles. The horses help the deputies see over longer distances and travel throughout these areas more quickly. A mounted police horse can cover as much ground as ten men. Public relations are the Mounted Units forte. Seldom is public attention so magnetically drawn to police as it is to a deputy on horseback.
The Horse: The American Quarter Horse
Each of the Mounted Unit deputies owns or leases their horses and is responsible for their care and maintenance. Once a deputy has qualified for the Mounted Unit he is placed on a probationary period and will be evaluated by a senior deputy throughout the year. The horses that are used are generally between the ages of four and fifteen years of age and normally are dark in color much like a bay or sorrel. The American Quarter Horse is a horse used by the Mounted Unit because of the stamina and usefulness of the horse.