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Police on horses ? (1 Viewer)

Kirk Gunn

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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
 

Mary M S

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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.
 

andrew markworthy

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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. :frowning:

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.
 

Rain

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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.
 

Holadem

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

--
Holadem
 

Danny R

Supporting Actor
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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.
 

Brett_H

Second Unit
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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...

-Brett.
 

Jeff Gatie

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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.
 

Francois Caron

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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! :)

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

John Spencer

Supporting Actor
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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.

:)
 

Chris Lockwood

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> 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.
 

Patrick Sun

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Remember the Ahnuld-on-the-horse scene in "True Lies"? Horses, obviously, have more sense than super spies as well. :D
 

KerryK

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

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! :)
 

Seth_S

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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.
 

Todd K

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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. :rolleyes
 

Greg*go

Supporting Actor
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Jun 14, 2002
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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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