Officers Saddle Up For Mounted Patrol Training
by Chris Conte
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - More than two dozen officers from five different states have converged in Williamson County to undergo a unique training class for both the officers and their horses.
On Wednesday afternoon inside the Williamson County Agricultural Center, the horses were met by volunteers who heckled, yelled and screamed at them as part of various drills to recreate situations showing mock parades and mock riots.
The training helps prepare horses and their officers for real life situations they encounter while out on patrol.
"They’re animals, so there is an unknown. What we do is train to get the best percentage of knowing when they’re going to react to something," said Lt. Richard Verbosky with the Franklin Police Department.
By watching them train you'd have a hard time telling that Lt. Verbosky and his horse MP were only brought on to the force back in 2010. Until then, the Franklin Police Department had gone decades without a mounted patrol unit.
"It gives the public a unique perspective about what we’re doing, it makes you so much more approachable. When you’re sitting in a police car people find is difficult to interact" says Franklin Police Chief David Rahinsky.
Rahinsky said MP and Lt. Verbosky offered the department a unique perspective when it comes to policing large crowds and their relationship is priceless to the department.
"They’re part of who we are, part of what we do and they represent the agency well," he said.