Mounted deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office will be on patrol during the upcoming Delaware County Fair, which will kick off Saturday.
According to DCSO officials, having the horses is a valuable resource and a great way to connect to the community.
Steve Jones, the DCSO’s only commissioned mounted deputy, said Wednesday that he’s looking forward to patrolling the fair all week long atop his horse, Chester.
“Part of it is (public relations), but the other part is just helping out,” Jones said, adding as a commissioned deputy, he has all the authority of a regular Delaware County Sheriff’s deputy. The rest of the mounted deputies at the sheriff’s office are volunteers who just want to help out.
Jones explained that horses are valuable at events like the fair, because they have a much easier time moving through large crowds than golf carts or other small motorized vehicles.
“Three years ago, I was coming up on the track and the EMS was trying to get through the crowd and get to someone who had passed out. There was a deputy trying to get people out of the way, and I rode up and asked if he needed help,” Jones said. “They said, ‘yeah,’ and it was no problem, people got out of the horse’s way, and the EMS was able to get to the person.”
Jones added the horses are also there to engage with the community, but fairgoers should ask before they touch the horse.
“We always try to get them to ask to pet the horse before they come up and pet,” Jones said.
His favorite part of working the fair, Jones added, is seeing familiar faces and making new friends.
“Just meeting the people is probably (my favorite) thing,” he said.
Jones said there will likely be one or two mounted deputies on patrol through the week, but on Wednesday and Thursday, he and two commissioned mounted deputies from Allen County will be on patrol because of the increase in people and alcohol sales during the races.
Jones added he does about 30 events every year, including Ohio State University football games.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.