Police & Fire

Remnants of the old west, the Summit County Sheriffs Posse

PARK CITY, Utah — While very few remnants of the “old west” still remain, the Summit County Sheriff’s office continues to keep one tradition alive as a part of their force. Even though they’re no outlaws to chase, no train robbers to catch and modern technology has provided a plethora of ways to uphold the law and protect citizens, Sgt. Jeremie Forman utilizes a posse of horses to carry out their duties.

Given the vast backcountry and mountain terrain that Summit County possesses, horses provide a much easier way to navigate the land, handle difficult situations, assist in search and rescues, and even make appearances in the town’s parades.

The Summit County Sheriff's posse from July 6, 2021.
The Summit County Sheriff’s posse from July 6, 2021. Photo: The Summit County Sheriff.

“That’s by far the highlight in my career,” Sgt. Jeremie Forman of the Summit Co. Sheriff’s Office told ABC4.

“For whatever reason, the horse breaks down those barriers between the police and the public,” Forman continued. “They’ll want to interact with the horse they want to visit with the police because we’re horseback, and that’s not something we get when we’re in our patrol cars.”

Although the horses do help in creating critical relationships with the community, they also serve a significant role in protecting the public. While searching for a missing hunter last fall, the posse was finally able to locate the man who they had nearly given up on.

“We were riding through the trees, and I actually looked over and we could see a light. So, we decided we better at least ride over there and at least check it out. We were hollering for this guy and pretty soon he hollered back, and we were within a hundred yards of him. From that time he answered us until we located him and got him out of there. The light was gone so I don’t know where the light came from, or what the light was. But I’m telling you we rode to the light, and that was where the guy was, and he didn’t have one,” Forman explained.

So while the posse isn’t lassoing bandits or hunting down gunslingers, these horses serve a very clear and important role in the protection of the community, continuing to prove their worth as they did in the “wild west”.

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