The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department presently has three equestrian programs totaling more than one hundred eighty personnel. They include
Mounted Enforcement Detail
Mounted Search and Rescue Unit
Reserve Mounted Posse (located at seven Sheriff's Stations.)
Mounted Enforcement Detail (MED)
Deputies on horseback Patrolling the City of Compton
Mounted Enforcement Detail (MED) currently consists of full time Deputy Sheriffs, and some Sheriff's Reserves. Personnel purchase their own equestrian mounts (horses) which they use for the detail. Full time Deputies train and deploy primarily in addition to their regular work week and separate from their units of assignment.
The mission of the Mounted Enforcement Detail is to provide the Department with a well-trained equestrian unit capable of being utilized in a variety of situations including, but not limited to:
Crime suppression/Directed Patrol
"Riderless Horse" at some Deputy funerals
Wildfire Equine and Livestock Evacuation
Mounted Enforcement Detail personnel have traveled to Taiwan where, along with other full time mounted officers from across the United States, they performed for the Chinese public to celebrate the formation of their first mounted police unit. Veteran members are selected to attend training at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Academy in Otawa.
Deputies on Horseback involved in an active shooter training drill
Monthly training is conducted and our Department has historically offered six, POST approved, 16 - 40 hour courses to our personnel and participating agencies. Mounted Enforcement Detail regularly sponsors one of the largest one day equestrian training in the State with over one hundred participants. M.E.D. has transformed from a unit comprised mainly of Reserve Deputies in the 1980's with limited capabilities to a high percentage of full time personnel with highly specialized training.
Deputies on Horseback lined up in formation during the riots after the NBA Championship in 2010
During the past few years, M.E.D. has been deployed to significant crowd management incidents including: the Forum in Inglewood as part of a mutual aid response, Martin Luther King Hospital as part of the Tactical Response Force, Lynwood and Compton Christmas Celebrations, West Hollywood Halloween Event, Cinco De Mayo festival at Whittier Narrows Regional Park, Major League Soccer games at the Home Depot Center in Carson and the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena.
Mounted Search and Rescue
Mounted Search and Rescue functions as an integrated support unit to the Department in emergency situations requiring the expertise of Search and Rescue trained horse riders for searches and rescues in terrain which is not accessible by motor vehicles or helicopters. The newly formed Mounted Search and Rescue Unit stood up in 2007. It is made up of Reserve Deputies and Civilian Specialists that must undergo extensive training including man tracking from horseback, wilderness survival, advanced first aid and life saving skills. They are required to become SARTECH II certified under the guidelines of the National Association for Search and Rescue. They routinely conduct mounted patrol of areas such as the Angeles National Forest and work with other Search and Rescue and Forest Service assets. They can be requested for searches throughout Southern California by contacting the Department's Emergency Operations Bureau
Sheriff's Mounted Posse
Sheriff's Posse Members on Citizens Patrol in the City of San Dimas
The Sheriff’s Mounted Posse has existed since the Department’s inception in 1850. During the 1940's the Posse continued to grow and was made up of Reserve Deputies. Up to the mid 1970's the Posse maintained more than 500 Reserves. Over the past thirty years the Posse has gone through many changes.
With the increased California P.O.S.T. mandated training demands for Reserve Deputies and fewer County residents who are engaged in equine activities, Reserve Posse numbers continue to decrease. In the mid 1990's Equestrian Civilian Volunteers started to become affiliated with individual Posse units. Posse members support the Department by patrolling rural trails, shopping malls, and beaches. They represent the Sheriff’s Department in parades and at community functions. They have recently paired with the Youth Activities League to spend a day with disadvantaged youth educating them about horses.
There are few things that attract more attention than a horse at static displays. Equestrian Civilian Volunteers are attached to each Posse Unit and two additional volunteer units located at Industry and Palmdale stations. They receive limited training and act as "eyes and ears," much the same as our Volunteers on Patrol. Equestrian Civilian Volunteers are actively recruited to become Reserve Deputies.
The Posse has been involved in a variety of activities during the past five years including participation in the Studio City Holiday Parade with Sheriff Baca and Mule Days Parade in Bishop where they took first place in the color guard category. Most notably, reserve Deputy Nancy Fite, and her camel "Burt," participated in the Hollywood Christmas Parade along with other uniformed Posse members. Deputy Fite and "Deputy Burt" have been the subject of international media attention and are listed in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Current Posse units include:
Altadena (626) 798-1131
Industry (626) 330-3322
Lomita (310) 539-1661
San Dimas (909) 450-2700
Santa Clarita Valley (661) 255-1121
Temple (626) 285-7171
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