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Sheriff's office saddles up
Belgian crossbreed is most recent addition to mounted patrol
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At 1,300 pounds and 17 hands high, Sherman is fit for law enforcement of an equestrian kind.

The 5-year-old thoroughbred Belgian crossbreed is one of two recent additions to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Mounted Patrol Unit.
Sherman, who was donated to the sheriff's office in March, is one of three horses in the unit.
Patton, a 10-year-old of the same kind, joined the force about a month ago. He's a little taller than Sherman and about 100 pounds heavier.
Mic, the unit's 15-year-old quarter horse, has been with the sheriff's office since 2002. He's about 15.5 hands tall and weighs 800 pounds.
Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton said horses can go places that are difficult for human feet or an all-terrain vehicle. He said they have typically been used in the summer for patrolling lakeside parks and are helpful in search-and-rescue efforts.
"They are obviously good for events, like in town when we help out the city with parades and the fair, we use them there," he said. "A lot of the guys that are in (the unit) are school resource officers, they're cross-trained."
Paxton said the horses have been a tremendous asset to the department. And once it's time for them to retire from the force, they are sent to loving homes.
Attorney John Lueder, who this spring participated in the sheriff's office Citizens Law Enforcement Academy, bought, named and donated Sherman.
Lueder, who on June 19 will receive a plaque from the sheriff's office in appreciation of his donation, said the idea came to him after sheriff's Deputy Brandon Moore talked to the class about the unit.
Moore explained to the group that the unit relies heavily on donations. In fact, the horses are allowed to stay in the Polo Fields stables for free.
Lueder said he felt compelled to help after Moore shared a story about a man with Alzheimer's disease who had gone missing from his Castleberry Road home a year earlier.
Authorities searched for the man throughout the night. The next morning, while on horseback, Moore found the man lying in a creek bed in the woods behind his house.
"Part of this was, I live in the county and we chose the county because it has such a low crime rate," Lueder said. "I just thought if I could do something that would help the sheriff's office, that would be great."
Moore said the horses will be used on a less seasonal basis than in the past.
"People will be seeing us a lot more in the shopping centers than just in the parks," he said.
Moore said the horses have to go through extensive training to get them accustomed to loud sounds, strange smells and other distractions that would normally spook them.
He said Sherman is unaffected by a deputy shooting from atop him or around him. The horse also isn't bothered by smoke, sirens or bright, flashing lights. The horses are also trained to handle large crowds of people.
"We want the horses to be absolutely approachable by the public," he said.
Moore said Sherman was the most easygoing horse he's put through the training and that he's "extremely glad and lucky that we found him."
Patton will need a little more work before he's ready, maybe a month, Moore said. Mic has a few more years left in him before retirement.