On a sweltering Tuesday afternoon, Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Phil Domenico swapped out his black police uniform for a green jumpsuit and cowboy hat so he could clean his horse, Scout, without getting dirty.
Later that evening, he and Scout …
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Later that evening, he and Scout would visit neighborhoods across Highlands Ranch for National Night Out, a community-building campaign held every year on the first Tuesday in August to encourage positive police-community partnerships.
"It fosters the relationship between the community and the sheriff's office," said Domenico, standing in the sheriff's substation parking lot next to his sturdy white-and-brown horse. "The horses help with that — the kids love to see them."
Mounted patrol — deputies on horseback who support crowd control, search and rescue missions and public events — were one of many special units that made an appearance at block parties across Highlands Ranch on Aug. 1. Others included a K-9 unit, SWAT team, community safety volunteers and Highlands Ranch Metro District park rangers.
At each street, driveway or cul-de-sac gathering, law enforcement mingled with adults and demonstrated their equipment to wide-eyed kids.
Deputy Lacey Wille playfully handcuffed Scott Shipley, an 8-year-old fascinated by police cars.
“It was fun,” Shipley said, “just for the experience.”
James Kettler, an energetic 10-year-old, jumped at the chance to sit in the rear cabin of a sheriff's office transport vehicle.
“I like seeing all the policemen,” said Kettler, “and learning about everything.”
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