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Police on horses ?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:06 PM

I don't get it... Police on horseback in an urban area. Is this effective, and for what ? Isn't it relatively expensive to care for horses, especially keeping them ready for whatever action they may meet in a metropolitan financial district ?

Someone enlighten me !
Thanks

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:19 PM

Horses can go places cars can't, plus the view from up there is probably useful.

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:29 PM

Add the speed of a good steed and Chris hit the nail on the head.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Mary M S

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:30 PM

During crowd control on the pavement in a city. To many urbanities, a horse is a tad intimidating coming at a slow but steady pace towards you. I'm assuming from the body language of pedestrians I see on the 10 o'clock news, and what I have seen in reality when I take a non-horsey person out to the barn. Surely a psychological advantage the Police hope for.
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#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Mike Lenthol

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
a horse is a tad intimidating

Elephants also. Plus they can pick up protesters and put 'em in a dump truck resembling patty wagon. Now there's a visual Posted Image

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Karl_Luph

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Posted March 24 2003 - 02:51 PM

An animal that size can lay a man out flat with one swift kick. Very effectively.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted March 24 2003 - 06:19 PM

Police horses are generally kept for crowd control, where they are very effective. They intimidate crowd members and at the same time the rider can get a better view of what's going on. Go to Brit soccer matches on days when trouble is expected between rival fans, and you'll see a few of them. Posted Image

In everyday life, the intimidation/crowd control factor isn't needed, but the horses still need exercise and also need to be accustomed to urban conditions. Accordingly, they will be used for patrols. I doubt in this instance if in most cases they're any more effective than a foot patrol, though there may be some PR value in it.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted March 24 2003 - 07:37 PM

Personally, I think it's mostly PR.

In Vancouver it seems like the cops on horseback are usually "patrolling" areas where nothing ever happens anyway.

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted March 25 2003 - 01:46 AM

Since the post that prompted my Posted Image seems to have been quietly vaporized 1984 fashion, I guess my smiley is useless now...

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#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Danny R

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Posted March 25 2003 - 01:58 AM

I've seen video of police on horseback pushing a crowd back. Its not just PR, because they are very effective.

For one thing, people who would have no problems throwing a brick at a cop are reluctant to hurt a poor horsey.
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#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Brett_H

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:00 AM

Guaranteed work for the street-cleanup crew.

I found it ironic when I went to a Browns game last year that they had mounted patrols moving through the crowd, encouraging people to control their litter, all the while dropping huge horse bombs in the parking lot...

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#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 25 2003 - 03:34 AM

Although a PR tool most of the time, mounted Police are highly trained in crowd control. The intimidation factor of the large animal combined with the horse's natural herding function and a trained rider equals am invaluable tool.

A good friend of the family became a mounted Boston cop in the 70's and he said he took the job because of the PR, tradition and ceremony - and then the busing riots came. He soon learned how important Police Horses are in an urban environment.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:38 AM

Quote:
In Vancouver it seems like the cops on horseback are usually "patrolling" areas where nothing ever happens anyway.

Maybe it's because the horses are there that nothing happens in the first place. Too risky! Posted Image

Hmmm... If horses are that effective in so many areas, what would happen if they patrolled Vancouver's Downtown Eastside?

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   John Spencer

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Posted March 25 2003 - 04:43 AM

Well, the cost is a little high. Police forces have attempted to use more cost effective methods, but none have presented themselves. And let me just say that, although it was highly cost-effective, Goat Force Alpha was deemed an utter failure in all other categories.

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Never heard of this. I'm a honky.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 25 2003 - 07:09 AM

> all the while dropping huge horse bombs in the parking lot

Imagine what it was like before cars, when everyone was traveling via horse or other animal.

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted March 25 2003 - 08:32 AM

Remember the Ahnuld-on-the-horse scene in "True Lies"? Horses, obviously, have more sense than super spies as well. Posted Image
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#17 of 24 OFFLINE   KerryK

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:01 AM

I think here in Toronto they're mostly for PR because they don't usually bring them out to protests, etc.

Quote:
all the while dropping huge horse bombs in the parking lot


They do look good but they often drop their "bombs" in the bike lanes which can really make my ride home even more of an obstacle course than it already is! Just what I need, a tire full of horse excrement. Especially since I live in a very small apartment! Posted Image

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Seth_S

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Posted March 25 2003 - 09:25 AM

Hmm. In downtown Philadelphia it seems like horseback cops can only be found around parks. I'm guessing this is done because it's obviously a lot easier to ride a horse into a park instead of a police car if they're needed.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Todd K

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Posted March 25 2003 - 02:17 PM

Quote:
They do look good but they often drop their "bombs" in the bike lanes which can really make my ride home even more of an obstacle course than it already is!



I found a similar situation in New Orleans last year. In addition to drunken revelers' urine and vomit, you had horses riding down Bourbon Street. Of course it was packed, so the "bombs" were getting tracked all over the place. The city that care forgot, indeed. Posted Image

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg*go

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Posted March 25 2003 - 06:09 PM

Quote:
In downtown Philadelphia it seems like horseback cops can only be found around parks.


And let's not forget the South Street riot a few years ago, there were horses all over the place there.

Horses also have a way of pushing a crowd back in a way that the people don't even realize they are being pushed back... unlike a line of plain officers or car patrols. They just think they're moving out of the way of the horsey.
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