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Sandhills Rodeo brings in mounted patrol for increased parking lot security

After a string of car break-ins over the years at the Sandhills Rodeo, security around the parking lot has increased.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 8:49 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - After a string of car break-ins over the years at the Sandhills Rodeo, security around the parking lot has increased.

The Sandhills Rodeo and Stock Show brings a lot of people to the Ector County Coliseum and the parking lot is often filled to capacity.

Over the years that has led to break-ins, vandalism, and even car theft.

This year, Mounted Patrol of Midland will keep an eye on the parking lot while rodeo-goers enjoy the show.

“Tonight we’re here for the community of Odessa. We’re going to be out in the parking lot making sure everything is safe out there. People’s vehicles,” said commander of the unit Johnny Rodriguez.

The mounted patrol is a volunteer unit and is made up of officers from Midland police, Odessa police, and the Ector County sheriff’s office…

Everyone in the unit owns their own horse…or a similar animal…

Aside from events like the rodeo, the mounted patrol assists with search and rescues, crowd control, and parades, but engaging with the community is their favorite part of the job.

“As soon as we get to an event, the people just go towards us and the kids all want to take pictures. Anywhere we go the horses attract the people, especially the kids,” said Rodriguez.

The mounted patrol will be out at the rodeo all weekend.

They hope the extra security will serves as a deterrent to any criminal activity.

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