The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office maintains a Mounted Unit comprised of both deputies and civilian volunteers. These individuals provide mounted search and rescue as well as mounted community and forest patrols.
The Mounted Unit also provides important community outreach during
public events. Our Mounted Unit regularly assists other state law
enforcement agencies with crowd control during major spectator events.
Member Training Requirements
The unit members and their horses must complete a rigorous training
including: personal safety, general Search and Rescue procedures, event
management, map and compass navigation, GPS navigation, and tracking.
They also must complete courses that demonstrate mounted skills and that
the horse and rider are able to work under a variety of potentially
distracting or stressful conditions. Many members of the unit have been
certified through the Arizona Mounted Police Officers Academy.
A major benefit to Mounted Unit patrols is that officers are in more direct contact with the public than they would be from a vehicle.
Officers can easily converse with people who are out in their yards or
neighborhood. Horses can go places that might be hard to access by
vehicle. Officers also can get a different perspective of an area from
their position on horseback compared to inside a vehicle. Because of the
history of mounted units, people often view mounted officers and their
horses as being very approachable, which helps develop community
relations. Together, this adds up to a unique way to provide additional
service to the community.
How to Participate
If interested in participating in the Mounted Unit, volunteers must first join the Search and Rescue Unit and attend a variety of trainings. Mounted Unit volunteers must complete an equine desensitization obstacle course and equine overnight bivouac. After participating as a member of the Mounted Unit Search and Rescue Team, volunteers can apply to become a mounted community patrol volunteer. If accepted into the program, they are sent to the Arizona Mounted Police Officers Academy and receive 80 hours of additional police-oriented mounted training.