The Bismarck Mounted Police are looking for more people to join.
We got in the saddle to find out more.
The Bismarck Mounted Police have been around since the ’60s, and you might be surprised to learn what it is they can do.
“If someone is lost or missing, we have been trained in equine scent and search and rescue. Our horses do scent and search just like dogs,” said Capt. Clarissa Goldsack.
Goldsack is the first-ever female captain of the Bismarck unit. She says the advantage of using horses for search and rescue is they can cover much more ground.
“I would not want to walk all day in this stuff, but these guys can. We’re up higher, so we have a lot more area we can view. And we have a relationship with these guys. So, they work for us, they work with us,” said Goldsack.
Lately, the unit has faced some challenges. Their membership is the lowest it’s ever been.
“It’s amazing how many people do not even know that we exist. We’ve been there for over 50 years. Right now we’re down to six active people, and with most of us getting older, we’ve got one that’s got to have a knee replacement. One just had a heart attack. So, we would really, really love to get some younger people to become active with us,” said Goldsack.
We spoke to one member who says he’s been volunteering with the mounted police since 1997. He says there are some misconceptions.
“I think a lot of people think they have to be in law enforcement to join…There’s a background check to get into it, but there’s no law enforcement background required,” said George Schmaltz.
Volunteers make up the Bismarck Mounted Police. Goldsack explained what she believes drivers members to join:
“This is my 21st year, and I have enjoyed doing it. I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.”
Goldsack says having a mounted unit is important for rural communities and they hope to see more people join.
While they are central to Bismarck, they are available to assist anywhere in the state of North Dakota.
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