Rankin County Sheriff’s Department adding horses to patrols

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department is adding some new members to its team.

Some deputies are spending the week on horseback for their new Mounted Patrol Program.

Sheriff Bryan Bailey is starting a Mounted Patrol Program. He’s been working on it for about a year.

The program kicked off officially Monday.

Seven deputies and four Jackson Police officers are training.

“I’ve learned a whole lot about horses, tactics on mounted patrol and really just about horsemanship in general,” Sheriff Bailey said.

“I thought of mounted patrol just being in parades, being seen in fairs and different events. But it’s brought a new perspective to me,” Lt. Paul Mullins said of the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department.

The horses will be a big help during search and rescue operations in areas in thick woods and other places that patrol cars can’t go.

“We can go into those areas,” said Robert Turner, Jr., a Trainer and Retired Hinds County Deputy. “We can search larger areas more rapidly than a man out there walking on foot.”

“One mounted deputy is equal to 10 deputies on foot, especially in crowd control and riot situations,” Sheriff Bailey said. “With what’s happening in the world today it will be another tool for the Sheriff’s office, along with search and rescue.”

He said having a program like this can get pricey, but none of the money came from taxpayers.

“Training alone could run anywhere from as low as $1,500 to the sky is the limit.”

“The horses, the tag, everything was purchased by drug dealers’ money, so it didn’t cost the taxpayers a thing. This class is being paid for out of drug money, so it does not cost the taxpayers a dime.”

The department has three horses. They hope to add three more in the coming months.

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