The MPU serves as an effective crime deterrent due to the high visibility of its mounted officers and their ability to quickly respond to problems in congested areas.
Their high visibility, uniformed police presence creates a sense of safety for visitors, workers, and residents alike. The officers and horses of the MPU contribute immeasurably to the overall livability and quality of life in the areas they work.
The MPU able to enforce all manner of laws and ordinances. During the 1980s, ***when the MPU was at its peak staffing***, they made 30 % of all Misdemeanor arrests in Portland. Currently, the MPU is responsible for approximately 83 citations and arrests each month, or 1000 a year.
The MPU has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of horses in creating a sense of accessibility between citizens and the mounted officers. They generate an opportunity for rapport between officers and citizens that is unique among policing strategies.
The MPU consistently demonstrates its popularity with the Portland community. Their Facebook page was LIKED by more than 9,000 people in under two weeks.
They are effective at neighborhood problem solving and quality of life issues. The MPU officers’ high visibility, uniformed presence not only gives neighborhood residents and workers a sense of comfort and safety but it also gives potential wrong doers an opportunity to consider the advisability of committing crimes of opportunity. Further, the officers’ vantage point atop a horse provides them with the unique ability to spot problems from considerable distance away, a capability unmatched by officers on foot or bikes.
The MPU has repeatedly shown their effectiveness in crowd control situations. Mounted officers have served as the front line defense for officers on foot and have been particularly useful in rescuing officers and citizens from threatening and potentially dangerous crowds.
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