The Sheriff of Apache County organized the first Apache County Sheriff’s Posse approximately 35 years ago. The purpose of the posse was to help in searching for lost and missing persons in Apache County. The posse is composed of volunteer citizens who are specially trained or skilled in Search and Rescue Operations.
Most search and rescue operations in Apache County are at elevations ranging from 5,000 to over 10,000 feet and in inclement weather. Volunteer personnel are trained in search and rescue techniques and certified for a variety of searches.
Since its inception, the posse has assisted in the rescue of skiers, hikers, boaters, lost children and has assisted other police and fire fighting organizations as they serve the Apache County residents.
The posse is a non-profit organization. Volunteers provide their own horses, equipment and transportation. Throughout the year, posse members participate in fund-raising activities. Their major focus is the annual Round Valley Rodeo. Held as part of the Independence Day celebrations, this event began in 1912 and has been a celebrated tradition every year since its inception.
Proceeds raised from the rodeo are used to provide training, fund community projects, maintain and modernize equipment and provide funding for the following year’s rodeo.
Currently there are approximately 50 volunteer members in the posse. Teams are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Qualifications for membership include the following: A current member in good standing must sponsor a new member. They must complete an application and interview. They also must successfully pass a background investigation and submit to an FBI fingerprint check.
To join the Apache County Sheriff’s Posse contact Captain Gary Finch at 928-245-1288.