County Mounties at the mall - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

County Mounties at the mall

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

You almost have your Christmas shopping done. But while you're at your last stop you return to your car and your car has been hit by the Grinch. All your gifts are gone. Every year around this time auto burglaries go up.

Mall security is just as busy as any of us this time of year, but now they have backup: the Gregg County Mounted Patrol. From their vantage point it's easier to spot trouble.

"The horses are very unique. People love to see the horses and pet the horses," said Roger Kiser of the Gregg County Mounted Patrol.

"They're very comfortable here on the open range," I observed.

"They get used to it. It's out of their usual environment. This isn't the pasture but they become acclimatized to the human ways. They do require shoes that don't skid, with some kind of traction so they don't slip on a hard surface," Roger stated.

"So have you seen any desperados today?" I asked him.

"Today has been very quiet. We've had multiple experiences in the past so we're prepared for anything," Roger revealed.

They've been patrolling the Longview Mall during the Christmas Season for two decades, and they seem to have a calming effect on hurried shoppers.

"Children love the happy time of year and to pet a horse is very unique because not everybody has that privilege every day," Roger said.

They have a three hour shift before they ride into the sunset, then it's time for a campfire and a pot of beans. Or maybe a flat screen TV and some leftover turkey.

The Gregg County Mounted Patrol says they do cause drivers to slow down and see a lot of smiling faces. They are about 25 members strong.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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