The Gallatin County Mounted Patrol rides in Bozeman - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

The Gallatin County Mounted Patrol rides in Bozeman

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It’s like a scene out of a western movie, but that’s not John Wayne, it’s the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Today ended a four day training program for mounted patrol.

Jackie Stewart Gallatin County Deputy and Instructor of the course said, “People see us as people, we aren’t just a badge and a gun.”

Stewart says mounted patrol is a great tool for law enforcement.

 “When I’m at the fair and I’m on his back I can see everything and everyone can see me, and we haven’t had very many problems when we are working mounted because we are so visible.”

Stewart adds, not only does it help keep people safe, but it also bridges the gap between law enforcement and the public.

 “I see people from a distance and they see the horse and they see that he’s associated with us and they just light up.”

The training consists of mounted arrest, officer safety, and crowd control.  The most important is desensitizing the animal.

 “Teaches the horse that we aren’t going to expose them to anything that’s going to hurt them, different sounds under their feet, different textures and different things rubbing against them,” Stewart said.

Kent Nichols who came up from Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the training has been certified with the same horse for the past 17 years.  He says you develop quite the bond with the animal.

“When I’m certified my horse hooks onto me and we are a team.”

As for when they patrol, you’ll see them mainly during the summer at special events.

Stewart said, “We attend the Three Forks Rodeo, the fairs, we also did some Madison River patrols last year and football games for the Montana State Bobcats.”

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