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  1. #1
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    Default "We Need Cops. Not Horses."

    Looks like there is a heated discussion in a city in Canada about whether or not to keep the police mounted unit due to budget issues. Here is the latest commentary in the local newspaper and the responses.

    http://www.thespec.com/opinion/colum...ops-not-horses
    Last edited by Mike Matson; Oct. 14, 2012 at 09:13 AM.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  2. #2
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    Feb. 3, 2005
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    Southern Ontario
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    Default

    This would be in Hamilton, ON, Can, and the writer is Susan Clairmont.

    Was quite taken back by her op-ed, but then she is the type of writer that really stirs things up with most articles she writes.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    If you are ever involved in special interest groups and politics, from the lowest government level on up, the squeakiest wheel will get done what they want done, if it makes sense or not.

    That one government official did get his pet project, that mounted unit, passed.
    Now, if others want it abolished as their pet project, they will do so.

    It all evens out, some win, some lose, some projects are not a good way to spend our taxes, but that has never stopped anyone that really wants xyz passed.

    I expect that here, if enough people want the mounted police officers, well, they will stay, if it makes sense or not, at least until enough others don't want them there.

    Our own county is getting some unexpected oil and gas tax windfalls and they are giddy with all their pet projects.
    We will see what eventually comes of it, just as the mounted police there will have to see what that controversy brings them in the end.



  4. #4
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Default

    We have an add running here for more funding (taxes) for more horses "to keep the public safe". In Detroit/Wayne County.

    Seems like a less than 'good buy' to use horses. In the realm of law enforcement, horses seems like a luxury...a special interest.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
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    Default

    Exactly how many officers does she expect to hire with the $73,000 per year they are spending on the 4 horses? It sounds like she expects to get multiple ones for that amount.
    I would think at best that is salary and benefits for 1 officer.

    I do think that the mounted unit's timing to ask for another horse, stables and another employee is probably not the wisest.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  6. #6
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    TX
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnysMom View Post
    Exactly how many officers does she expect to hire with the $73,000 per year they are spending on the 4 horses? It sounds like she expects to get multiple ones for that amount.
    I would think at best that is salary and benefits for 1 officer.

    I do think that the mounted unit's timing to ask for another horse, stables and another employee is probably not the wisest.
    I read into that story that the officer's salaries were not counted in that management of the unit expenses of $73,000.
    Sounded like they were comparing the unit's expenses against other uses of that tax revenue.
    That is because the officers were to be paid anyway, no matter where they were put to work.



  7. #7
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    We have an add running here for more funding (taxes) for more horses "to keep the public safe". In Detroit/Wayne County.

    Seems like a less than 'good buy' to use horses. In the realm of law enforcement, horses seems like a luxury...a special interest.
    Horses in law enforcement can be an effective "force multiplier" in certain situations.

    They are very effective at "crowd control." They are excellent for allowing an officer a "bird's eye view" of groups of people immediately around them. They are very effective PR tools. They get the officer out of a squad car and into the "real world" of their immediate environment. They are most useful in the crowded, urban environment.

    They are of very limited geographical effectiveness. They require a lot of care and maintenance. There is a limited "equine support infrastructure" in most places they are used (and most useful). They require some very specialized training. They produce "raw fertilizer." They require rest during a tour of duty.

    I'm sure others can think of additional up and downs to a police equine unit. On balance, I'd say keep them. Their cost, relative to other things, is pretty low. You'd likely get about 1.5 additional officers in Canada for $73,000. And you'd have to give that officer a cruiser (at about $75,000). So where's the savings? Where's the operational benefit?

    As noted, these tend to be somebody's "pet project," either pro or con. It keeps us reminded of Churchill's famous observation that "all politics is local."

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  8. #8
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Twin Cities
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Horses in law enforcement can be an effective "force multiplier" in certain situations.

    They are very effective at "crowd control." They are excellent for allowing an officer a "bird's eye view" of groups of people immediately around them. They are very effective PR tools. They get the officer out of a squad car and into the "real world" of their immediate environment. They are most useful in the crowded, urban environment.


    G.
    For crowd control, one mounted officer can be as effective as up to TEN officers on the ground. They can see & be seen.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippolyta View Post
    For crowd control, one mounted officer can be as effective as up to TEN officers on the ground. They can see & be seen.
    That is fine, but only where you have crowds to control and there, it seems that was not the case, not what those mounted police were for.

    Here, some of our regular sheriff's deputies help as mounted police when there is some big rodeo or ballgame, a few times a year, working the parking lot.
    They take their job very seriously, but I think they also have much fun.

    That is because there they can see and get around parked vehicles better and direct the traffic easier horseback.
    Here, a fully active, mounted police force would not have much to do the rest of the time, as there is no other places anyone congregates in large numbers.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    The mounted officers can be effective in many circumstances all year 'round.

    Crowd control is clear, but so is "crowd surveillance" anytime you've got a civic event. The officer's eye is "above the fray" and can see clearly over a significant distance. If they see a problem they can either go themselves or vector in other officers. They can also pursue or cut off fleeing miscreants. Their mere presence can be a deterrent to trouble.

    A local mall was having a lot of trouble with auto burglaries, smash and grab thefts, and purse snatching around Christmas time a few years back. Knoxville does not have a mounted unit, but the mall hired mounted, private security guards. The incidence of all crime dropped dramatically while the mounted guards were on duty.

    Rotate a force around the various malls in a city and you've got quite a deterrent force.

    If you've got a local university with a football team you've got at least a half dozen days a year with really big crowds. If you've got a popular basketball team you can add several dozen more days.

    Winter days can be problematical, particularly with ice and snow. There will be some days when the patrol will not practical due to weather conditions. Heat might also be an occasional problem in some places.

    Again, this is a "niche" force but one that doesn't really cost all that much (compared to other methods of police mobility) and conveys a sense of authority to the law abiding citizen and deterrence to the miscreant.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hippolyta View Post
    For crowd control, one mounted officer can be as effective as up to TEN officers on the ground. They can see & be seen.
    If anyone doubts this, come on down to New Orleans to Bourbon Street; and this is a great time of year -- during VooDoo Fest and Halloween. I hate crowds; so crowds of completely plastered people in crazy costumes -- there is just not enough alcohol in the world for me. So, I stood outside talking to the 2 mounted police and was just in awe of what they and most especially the horses out up with. Wasted people have zero sense of fear / self preservation / common sense when the horses are standing still and will run up to any end of the horses to do crazy stuff while a friend takes a picture, and the horses are saints and the police officers are very calm and friendly while doing a job that requires a level of patience that I will never achieve.

    Anyway, the coolest thing was to see that despite the just complete & continous stupidity of the drunken hoards; when those horses move -- people absolutely make way quickly, but without trampling anyone.

    There is no other tool that gives that level of visibility, mobility, and safety for the officer -- and the people in the crowds. They also have officers on Segways and possibly bikes -- neither of which I would want to be on in a crowd.

    And, New Orleans is a dangerous city, so if you do visit -- do NOT engage in activities that impare your judgment -- you need to keep your wits about you. But you are probably safer on Bourbon St. w/ the mounted police than driving on I-10 thrugh the city at high noon. Every single day there is some new corruption investigation involving the police and local government along w/ the numerous shootings and murders. So, the mounted police are, in my opinion, one of the very few things that is going right there. Luckily, I think the powers that be are aware of the value of the mounted police.

    So, I guess the value to me is crowd control; so if a place didn't have outdoor events w/ big crowds, maybe not necessary.
    Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing



  12. #12
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    Feb. 3, 2005
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    Southern Ontario
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    That is fine, but only where you have crowds to control and there, it seems that was not the case, not what those mounted police were for.

    Here, some of our regular sheriff's deputies help as mounted police when there is some big rodeo or ballgame, a few times a year, working the parking lot.
    They take their job very seriously, but I think they also have much fun.

    That is because there they can see and get around parked vehicles better and direct the traffic easier horseback.
    Here, a fully active, mounted police force would not have much to do the rest of the time, as there is no other places anyone congregates in large numbers.

    Actually, these horses do spend a lot of time in Hess Village, which is a 'trendy bar' area in downtown Hamilton, that gets a lot of college/university student patrons.

    These students tend to get a 'bit' out of control at times, and the mounted patrol is very good at getting things toned down.

    They are asking for another horse because one of their original geldings has developed arthritis, and is unable to continue with his duties.



  13. #13
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    Oct. 18, 2008
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    Deschapelles, Haiti
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mht View Post
    Actually, these horses do spend a lot of time in Hess Village, which is a 'trendy bar' area in downtown Hamilton, that gets a lot of college/university student patrons.

    These students tend to get a 'bit' out of control at times, and the mounted patrol is very good at getting things toned down.

    They are asking for another horse because one of their original geldings has developed arthritis, and is unable to continue with his duties.
    Glad to see a local chime in and Darn! I just spoke this afternoon by phone with an Ancaster Rotarian who is coming to visit us in November. If they don't nix the force and still want to rotate out their arthritic 'officer's assistant', post that here and Hoover & I will send back a contribution!
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog



  14. #14
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Default

    Uniquely positioned to see both sides of the coin .

    Budgets suck right now. It took my dept nine months, maybe a little less?, to replace a totaled cruised. By replaced, I mean we have the car, it has the electronics and we just had evoc on it this week (new model)...but it's not striped and in use yet. I've been turned down for training, we haven't had range training since spring due to cost of ammo, we don't even get as much in-house training (range, dt, case law) just because of OT alone. We do a lot of training on shift. We're two officers down, but only hired one. $73k a year to fund a mounted pilot program? Most agencies are in the same boat we are, and I don't see it making the budgetary cut unless there is special interest involved (cough politics).

    However, we're being pushed to do more foot patrol, prob due to rising fuel costs, and we just approved two new bicycle officers (I'm one). Unless you are an agency like NOPD, I'm not sold on mounted patrol. Yes, if there was an agency near by that DID mounted patrol I would have thrown an application their way, but there isn't. I think my county should have one due to all our parks, but it is worse on financially than we are because in Liberal Land, The Powers That Be would rather fund a program that studies the beaches and has people out gazing into tide pools and counting wildlife on the beach than deputies. I can't see the feasibility of mounted patrol in most urban environments. JMHO .
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southern Ontario
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    925

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HorsesinHaiti View Post
    Glad to see a local chime in and Darn! I just spoke this afternoon by phone with an Ancaster Rotarian who is coming to visit us in November. If they don't nix the force and still want to rotate out their arthritic 'officer's assistant', post that here and Hoover & I will send back a contribution!
    I think that the retiring horse is going to be used at TEAD (the equestrian association for the disabled). They are stabled in the same facility, and the horse would be perfect for their program-bombproofed and all.



  16. #16
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    Feb. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southern Ontario
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    Default The Horses Win!

    from this morning's Hamilton Spectator....http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ilton-policing



  17. #17
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Default

    I have seen videos of the mounted unit clearing the streets when Mardi Gras is OVER!!! Very impressive!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ldaziens View Post
    If anyone doubts this, come on down to New Orleans to Bourbon Street; and this is a great time of year -- during VooDoo Fest and Halloween. I hate crowds; so crowds of completely plastered people in crazy costumes -- there is just not enough alcohol in the world for me. So, I stood outside talking to the 2 mounted police and was just in awe of what they and most especially the horses out up with. Wasted people have zero sense of fear / self preservation / common sense when the horses are standing still and will run up to any end of the horses to do crazy stuff while a friend takes a picture, and the horses are saints and the police officers are very calm and friendly while doing a job that requires a level of patience that I will never achieve.

    Anyway, the coolest thing was to see that despite the just complete & continous stupidity of the drunken hoards; when those horses move -- people absolutely make way quickly, but without trampling anyone.

    There is no other tool that gives that level of visibility, mobility, and safety for the officer -- and the people in the crowds. They also have officers on Segways and possibly bikes -- neither of which I would want to be on in a crowd.

    And, New Orleans is a dangerous city, so if you do visit -- do NOT engage in activities that impare your judgment -- you need to keep your wits about you. But you are probably safer on Bourbon St. w/ the mounted police than driving on I-10 thrugh the city at high noon. Every single day there is some new corruption investigation involving the police and local government along w/ the numerous shootings and murders. So, the mounted police are, in my opinion, one of the very few things that is going right there. Luckily, I think the powers that be are aware of the value of the mounted police.

    So, I guess the value to me is crowd control; so if a place didn't have outdoor events w/ big crowds, maybe not necessary.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mht View Post
    from this morning's Hamilton Spectator....http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...ilton-policing
    Thank you for this positive update!
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



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