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Kansas Police Department Introduces Mounted Patrol

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --

There is a new team in Johnson County that will help police find people who go missing.

It looked like a serious situation in south Johnson County Wednesday afternoon, but it was a demonstration of the Overland Park Police Department's newest members -- the department's mounted patrol search and rescue unit.

The new mounted patrol was unveiled at Kemper Farm on Wednesday. Overland Park police said the unit was created for emergency situations in the city such as parks and rural areas where streets and trails are unavailable.

The unit is made up of seven volunteer officers and two supervisors who are department employees.

Certain areas of the city are being described as difficult to get to on foot and impossible by vehicle so that's where the mounted patrol would step in.

Overland Park police said they will make the horses and their volunteer partners available to any other jurisdiction throughout the metro that needs their help.

"The volunteers get an opportunity to work their horses in a different environment, lean a new skill and promote that with their horses and we get the benefit of having that service for the police department," said Eric Thompson, Mounted Patrol Search and Rescue supervisor.

The riders and horses have been in training since the first of the year, and while they will primarily focus on search and rescue, training is under way for them to conduct evidence searches.

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