The York County Sheriff’s Office introduced its “Sheriff’s Posse” Thursday during a training session in York.
The mounted patrol group is made up of four deputies and their personal horses. Three other deputies and horses are training for the unit.
The group formed in 2010 to help with search and rescue missions, such as finding a lost child or a missing elderly person in the woods, said team leader Mark McCarter, who rides Cochise, an 11-year-old quarter horse. “We can get places 4-wheelers can't,” McCarter said.
The team also helps with crowd control at festivals and other community events.
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They’ve worked nine events this year, including Baxter Village's St. Patrick's Day festival, the Oakridge Bike Rally near Clover and most recently the Fourth of July Fireworks show at Carowinds.
The deputies all have regular duties and shifts with the sheriff's office.
“We come out when needed,” McCarter said, comparing the unit to the dive team and k-9 unit.
Other deputies in the unit are Shane Whitaker, Tom Kinnee and Jamie Sandifer. They meet at least once a month for team training, and also work with horses in their own time at home.