Sheriff’s Posses have existed in the United States since the 1700’s. In the West, territorial jurisdictions were vast and law enforcement was minimal.
Sheriffs and marshals often deputized citizens to capture criminals and enforce the law. That is true today; the Sheriff’s Posse is used by the Bent County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement service to the citizens of Bent County.
There was a Sheriff’s Posse in Bent County for many years until it was disband in the mid 2000’s. Our current Sheriff’s Posse was formed in 2019.
The Bent County Sheriff’s Posse membership consists of volunteer deputies and citizen volunteers.
Reserve deputies hold Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification and are sworn in as peace officers to serve in a supplementary capacity under the direct supervision of fully-certified Deputy Sheriffs.
Volunteers are sworn personnel who supplement and support the certified deputies and civilian personnel of the Sheriff’s Office.
Whether it is on a horse, in a patrol car, or on foot, all of the members give their time freely to work the numerous events during the year. There are a variety of ‘jobs’ that the posse performs for the Sheriff’s Office and the community:
- Security for Santa Fe Trail Day, the Bent County Fair and other events
- Crime scene security
- Searches for missing persons and evidence
- Jail ‘shakedowns’, which are organized searches for contraband in the jail facility
- Assisting patrol and detention deputies with daily tasks
- Citizen Patrol
- Community Service call service
- Ambulance and Fire Calls
The members of the Bent County Sheriff’s Posse give an extraordinary amount of time each year in their service to the community. The Posse is an integral part of Sheriff’s Office operations, and the dedication of the members is the reason for the success of the Bent County Sheriff’s Posse.