Article from The Albany Herald, Friday, August 20, 1999 - Photo by Don Stalvey/staff, Article by Cassandra Lindsay, Staff Writer
Albany, Daugherty officers pass course
| Trotting through cavalry drill maneuvers accompanied by the "Miami Vice" theme song, nine police officers from Georgia and Florida received mounted police certification Thursday afternoon.
It was the culmination of four days of toiling in the hot Georgia sun at Star K Stables in Lee County. Officers arrived early in the morning to try to beat the heat and learn how to turn their mounts into police horses under the direction of former Marine and Florida police officer Tek Marciniak.
"We teach police officers who are horsemen how to combine the skills to become mounted patrol officers," Marciniak said.
| "The Albany Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit is already strong so I came in to take their unit and hone their existing skills."
Key skills officers learned included techniques for crowd control, controlling their mounts in noisy and stressful situations and cavalry drill maneuvers. "Both horse and rider have to learn to trust each other before the team can be successful," Marciniak said.
Albany officers Cpl. Arthur Butler, Lt. Billy Osborne, Officer Jo Sikes, Cpl. Ernest Hawkins, Sgt. Tracey Barnes and their mounts completed the course. They were joined by officers from the
| Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, Athens-Clark County Police Department and the Broward County Sheriff's Office in Florida.
Normally, officers must travel with their horses to another city to gain certification, he said. Osborne said he has hopes some of his unit's officers can go to instructor school and become certified to teach new recruits.
The Albany Mounted Patrol has been in existence for 17 years, but the officers haven't been certified until now. Mounted patrol units in Athens and Broward County are equally entrenched in those police departments, officers said.
|Broward County Deputy David Smith said he came up to Albany in hopes of being able to join his force's mounted patrol unit.
"I needed to get a little more riding experience," Smith said.
Dougherty County Deputy Donna Jackson paid her way to attend the training course in hopes the sheriff's department will get a mounted patrol unit started.
"There is a need for it (mounted patrol) in the county also, not just in the city," she said. "Our goal is to get the community behind us."