Mounted Police Units aren’t as prevalent as they used to be in the United States, but they are still an important part to some cities across the nation.
Many city police equine units have downsized since 2010, according to the New York Times.
Some horse units, however, are still growing and still a very prominent part of their community’s police force. Here are a few of them.
The Bethlehem Mounted Police Unit is near and dear to our hearts because it is in the same city as the Straight Arrow Products, Inc. executive offices! The Bethlehem Mounted Unit recently installed a new facility and stables for their horses and it is one of the most widely recognizable parts of the city’s summer festival season.
The Houston Police Department revived the Mounted Patrol in October 1984. Funds for the new mounted unit were originally provided through a grant from the Downtown Central Business District during the tenure of Mayor Kathy Whitmire and Chief of Police Lee P. Brown, according to the unit’s website.
Houston’s Mounted Patrol is part of Strategic Operations, Homeland Security Command, Special Operations Division. The downtown business district and Hermann Park are the primary focus of Mounted Patrol, but, occasionally the mounted unit is given assignments to work with patrol divisions who are having a particular crime issue in a specific neighborhood.
The Birmingham Police Mounted Patrol consists of officers on donated horses that do regular patrol, crowd control and take part in public relations assignments, including representing the department in the inaugural parades for presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, according to its web site. The unit was created in the mid 1970’s.
The Anaheim Police Department Mounted Enforcement Unit was started in the 1990’s and it’s responsibilities include working crowds at everything from the NAMM Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center to Supercross at Angel Stadium. They’ve also participated in charitable activities like visiting CHOC Children to help put some smiles on the faces of ill kids at the Orange hospital.
The unit consists of eight officers, a sergeant, lieutenant and now even a deputy chief, and their horses and is is part of the Orange County Regional Mounted Unit, which consists of the seven police agencies in O.C. with mounted units (Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department).
Camden, New Jersey
The Camden Police established a new mounted unit in the early 1990’s. When the mounted police unit was resurrected, Camden Police Captain, Raymond Massi, donated the first horse for the presentation made to the Chief of Police and the city government to support the new unit.
Visit this Wikipedia page for a more comprehensive list of mounted police units in the United States.
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