The Big Dismount

Does Portland Even Need a Mounted Police Patrol?


The Facebook page for Friends of the Mounted Patrol keeps posting sob stories about the horses themselves - "Pedro was abused, and written off. But then he found a new calling as in the Mounted Patrol! Save Pedro!"

No one is talking about killing Pedro, for Pete's sake! We just don't want to pay for him to be a fricking police officer. If he had a rough past, let him go frolic in a dang field. Stop trying to confuse people on the issue!
Portland needs to keep the mounted patrol. They help people to see officers in a different light. If this 1200 lb+ animal can tolerate them, they must not be so bad :) I'll go out of my way to strike up a conversation with an officer on a horse. I wouldn't do that for an officer on a bike. Bikes just aren't interesting to me or to anyone I know. Horses are! Great conversation piece.
Maybe we should just cut down the number of bicycle cops and keep the mounted patrol. Maybe add a few more horses? There are plenty of horses who need a home and wouldn't mind the work. It's good for them.
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.
I guess if the police want the mounted patrol they should manage their money, overtime and lawsuits better.
Police horses are a bain on society. Have you ever seen the huge craps they take? Do the police officers ever clean it up? HELL NO! So yay, we get huge land mines of horse shit on the sidewalks; where people actually walk on, you know pedestrians?! Its perfectly okay for police officers to not clean up their horse shit, then it gets smeared all over the sidewalk from traffic. I'm sure all those people that walk through the smeared wet horse shit are just thrilled to have mounted police strolling around. Ugh, you people are terrible.
"And despite a high-profile push to rescue the 122-year-old unit . . ." 122 years? I beleive the unit was started in the early 1980s, with the first two horses owned by the officers who rode them, and focusing on Downtown, especially the South Park Blocks.