Mounted Patrol horse Randy shows off his new protective face shield. From left are Dale Neal and Bob Gray of Nissan, whose employees designed and manufactured the shields, Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, County Commissioner Pettus Read, and Deputy Jared Keith, Sgt. James Holloway and Detective Austin Mobbs of the Mounted Patrol Unit.
Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol horse Randy appeared curious when Nissan quality manager Bob Gray and trim and chassis supervisor Neal White attached a protective face shield on his head.
Nissan employees in the trim and chassis division designed and produced 12 face shields for the Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol horses.
“He seems to tolerate it great,” Gray said after watching Randy’s reaction.
Sgt. James Holloway said he and other Mounted Patrol Unit officers were excited about the new face shields.
“If we are in a crowd control situation, the shields will protect the horses’ noses and faces,” Holloway said.
Randy and the other horses will adapt because they can see through the clear shields, Holloway said.
The idea originated with County Commissioner Pettus Read who generously gave a donation for the Horse Patrol Unit.
Holloway and Major Steve Spence discussed needing shields for the horses so Spence asked Capt. Britt Reed if he knew anyone at Nissan who might create the equipment.
Reed enlisted help from his brother-in-law, Tim Slate, Nissan’s director of quality assurance, who consulted with Tim Fallon, director of trim and chassis assembly. Gray and Neal were assigned to handle the job. They worked with Holloway to obtain the specifications.
Nissan employees previously produced 53,000 face shields for nurses and first responders.
White said his team just had to adjust face shields for a large head for the horses.
“These (face shields) are the biggest thing we made outside manufacturing,” White said. “They were excited.”
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh thanked Nissan.
“We appreciate Nissan employees for taking the interest and the time to create the face shields that will offer protection for our horses,” Fitzhugh said. “It shows what a cooperative effort does in our community when we all come together and work for the common good.”