The Erath County Sheriff’s Office has a new weapon in its arsenal when it comes to search and rescue operations - a posse.

Sheriff Matt Coates said forming a posse has been something he has wanted to do since taking office, and in March, the Erath County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was formed.

Ed Gordon, an investigator with the District Attorney’s office, is the captain, and Assistant District Attorney Jett Smith is a lieutenant.

The group consists of about 20 people which also includes Coates, two deputies and several volunteer civilians who will take part in search and rescue operations on horseback.

“The posse is a great asset to have for search and rescue,” Coates said. “It means more boots on the ground for a safe and quicker recovery.” 

The posse sprang into action a couple of weeks ago when a call of a missing teenager in Morgan Mill came in to dispatch.

“As soon as the call came in we called out the posse and did a grid search,” Coates said. “We got a cell phone ping (from the missing teen’s phone) north of Morgan Mill so that’s where we began the search.”

The missing teen was found hours later dehydrated but otherwise in good condition.

“We really don’t know what happened,” Coates said. “He was outside chopping firewood then disappeared.”  

The posse meets once a month at Grumps and Coates said there is room for others who might want to join.

Those interested in serving as a member of the mounted posse must own a horse, but others can join as support staff.