Benton-Franklin Sheriff’s Posse is looking for volunteer members

BENTON AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES, Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Sheriff’s Offices are establishing a posse—not to get confused with the Benton-Franklin Mounted Sheriff’s Posse. Those are the ones who ride the horses.

This is an addition to that existing group, which has been around in the Benton-Franklin counties since 1948. They are incorporating it as a search and rescue division.

“We would utilize the Sheriff’s Posse to go out on the ATVs and UTVs to help monitor the happenings and respond to medical incidents,” said Commander Monty Huber with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

This is a collaboration between the two counties, but one that isn’t so surprising.

“The Benton-Franklin Posse is not divided by the river. We have (Franklin County) Posse members that can be utilized in Benton County, and Benton County Posse members that can be utilized in Franklin County,” said Cmdr. Huber.

They are looking for volunteers to help out in several divisions they are planning on creating. Both marine divisions on the water, and aerial divisions in the air.

The Franklin County Sheriff wrote that these volunteers will be on marine patrols, as well as ORV patrols, parades, crime scene security, search and rescue operations and rural neighborhood patrol.

Cmdr. Huber said, “What we’re experiencing right now is a shortage in manpower. So, we could utilize volunteers as another body or another set of eyes.”

Benton and Franklin County staff said they each have two Reserve Sheriff Deputies at the moment. Over the years, they’ve seen upwards of fifteen community members volunteering their time.

New Mobile Command Unit

The new, self-contained Franklin County mobile unit is one of the resources that the Benton-Franklin Sheriff’s Posse will be using. The County will be using it for community events, crime scenes and major search and rescue events.

Inside the mobile command hub are computers, bases for deputies tablets, TV monitors for displaying information, a conference room, a printer and more things. The staff is able to get out of harsh weather they might experience, and the trailer has heat and air conditioning.

The American Rescue Plan, a federal fund, was what Franklin County went through the get the unit. The information hub is a 28-foot trailer. Sheriffs, deputies and posses can process information, coordinate resources and have a unified command on-location.

“It’s literally like having a mobile office where you can distribute information very quickly and very effectively,” said Lieutenant Erik Magnuson with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

The BCSO said they are also looking to get their own mobile command trailer. The Benton County Commissioners have not approved the request yet.

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