photo contributed....

contributed……Sheriff John B. Spears is pleased to announce Vernon County Sheriff’s Office implementation of the new Mounted Patrol.  “Leon” an 8 year old Quarter Horse is the newest member of the Sheriff’s Office. Leon’s owner and rider is Deputy Jay Vosseteig of Westby. Leon and Jay completed the Mounted Officer Training Program in 2011. Training with the Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff’s Office and the Tempi (AZ) Police Department. All Costs associated with the training were privately funded. There was no cost for the training or equipment from taxpayers in Vernon County.  Leon is Jay’s personal horse and all costs associated with Leon’s care and boarding are paid privately.

       Similar to K-9’s, a mounted patrol is very popular with the public. “A Deputy on a horse is many times more approachable than a deputy in a squad,” said Sheriff Spears. The mounted deputy also presents themselves as a good role model for children and adults.     Sheriff Spears said “A Mounted Patrol will provide enhanced search and rescue capability, and a police presence in areas not easily reached by a deputy on foot.”   A Mounted Patrol is beneficial in searching for lost individuals, evidence, etc. In a crowd a deputy on a horse has an advantage of being able to see over the crowd and cover a much larger area. That same deputy is also more visible to the public and is more readily able to be located and contacted when someone needs help.

         It is another Community Policing aspect that helps cement a solid partnership with the citizens in Vernon County. A Mounted Deputy is ideal for events such as parades, the Vernon County Fair, Wild West Days and other community activities. It can be utilized in areas of the county, such as our county park systems, state parks, government lands and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. It also has a place in educational aspects and events for our young people, and helps in forming good relationships with our youth.  Sheriff Spears is proud to have Deputy Jay Vosseteig represent our Sheriff’s Office and would like to recognize Jay for his professionalism, horsemanship and high level of skill and his service to the community.