The original Mounted Patrol was called “Sheriff’s Posse”. The Posse was active from approximately the late 80’s to the early 2000’s. The members included the late Deputy Walter “Fuzz” Longan, Carl Hiner, Ken Willerton, Charley Shell, Alvie Morris, Deputy Bob Tillman and current Under-Sheriff Garry McKinnis. It was common to see these gentlemen parking cars at the annual Payne County Fair and riding in the local parades.
The Posse was renamed and re-established as the Payne County Mounted Patrol in late 2011.
The Payne County Mounted Patrol is led by Under-Sheriff Garry McKinnis and Lieutenant Deputy Joe Harper. Recently several members attended the Reserve Academy that was hosted by the Sheriff’s office; employees Fidel Gutierrez, Patricia Benavidez, Ryan Clopton, and Katie Gutierrez, are now Reserve Deputies for the Mounted Patrol. Employee Martin Noyes volunteers his time as the photographer for the group, Our other members consist of individuals in the community: Rick Hand, Tanya Schultz and John Myers. The Mounted Patrol trains through out the year to perform crowd control, search and rescue, and various other services for the Sheriff’s Office. Fran McKinnis and Sandy Guthrie volunteer their time, and impart their knowledge of horsemanship to train the members.
To become a member, the horse and rider must demonstrate specific abilities including emergency stops, quick command response, and excellent horsemanship. Training consists of warm-ups, simulations, formations, and individual as well as group exercises. As the Payne County Mounted Patrol Unit becomes more active, our goals also change. We have sent members to attend training in search and rescue, emergency management classes; those members then impart their training onto the rest of the group. As in the past, all horses and most equipment is donated or purchased by the members. Members also provide all animal care and transportation to training and events.
Without the support of our community, the Mounted Patrol would not exist. We have amazing supporters that include but are not limited to Ralph’s Packing Company of Perkins; Food Pyramid, Wal-Mart of Stillwater, Red Rock Bakery, Hi-Land Dairy, Coca Cola Bottling Company, Devon Energy, Great Plains Energy, TransCanada Corporation, and many individual citizens of Payne County.