MERCED, Calif. -
A local law enforcement agency has been chosen to represent the Central Valley and the State in next month's Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke and his “posse” will ride on horses during the parade on January 20th after Presidential-Elect Donald Trump gets sworn in.
Warnke said it's an honor to have been chosen to be a part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration. He will be travelling to the East Coast with his “posse”, which is a group of ambassadors who represent the Sheriff's Department. Fourteen of them are going along with their horses. The big trip is expected to cost an estimated $80,000, and Warnke said they are paying for it themselves. However, they are asking for the community's help.
Laurette Locke is the secretary/treasurer of the Merced Co. Sheriff's Posse. She said, "I'm excited. It's gonna be so exciting to ride by and see the President right there."
The posse has marched in other parades, Warnke said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon that this Presidential Inauguration is undoubtedly the biggest event they've ever been invited to participate in.
"It's a huge honor and responsibility, and we will do the citizens of this county and this state very proud," stated Warnke.
Warnke said he believes they may be the only sheriff's department in the state that got chosen to attend. He credits the help of Congressman Jim Costa for helping them get to fulfill a dream.
Costa joked, "I just hope for all of them that we don't have the kind of weather that we had eight years ago, when it was 18 degrees. Because you'll need to dress just in case warmly. And, hopefully it won't rain!"
The Sheriff's Posse is going to hold a fundraiser on Sunday, January 8 at the Merced Elks Lodge, located at 1910 M. Street. Tickets are $25.