Michigan Mounted Police Tactical Horsemanship Academy set for this weekend

Submitted to the Pioneer

BIG RAPIDS — This weekend, the Mecosta County fairgrounds will be a police training site for mounted officers. The Michigan Mounted Police Tactical Horsemanship Academy will begin Friday afternoon, May 18, and continue through Sunday, May 20.

Sponsored by the Clare County Mounted Division, officers from various departments will take part in the three-day event aimed at sharpening their skills. Up to 26 riders from law enforcement mounted divisions across the state will participate in this academy.

The mounted teams will be trained over obstacles while being surrounded by everyday distractions encountered within the community they patrol. These teams also will be trained in crowd control and dispersal as well as arrest techniques on horseback.

The goals of the training are to increase horse and rider safety and skills while patrolling in their respective communities.

Several members of Mecosta County 4-H clubs and the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District Career Center public safety class will be assisting in the training. The students will provide everyday distractions throughout the course of training and also will serve as either a parade crowd or an unruly crowd the mounted teams will face in their normal course of duty.

AeroMed will be assisting in the training, with the crew flying the AeroMed helicopter into the fairgrounds, serving both as a distraction and as a practice for a possible real-life scenario if mounted units needed to set up landing zones.

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