Steve Krauchick of Doing It Local shares this video report of the Police Department’s mounted patrol visiting Trumbull Gardens public housing project.
Last week Tatiana Julitta Maldonado shared on my Facebook wall a picture of the Bridgeport Police’s Mounted Patrol at Trumbull Gardens. After 267 Likes and 28 Shares it indicated to me that you wanted to know more, so did I! Most have seen the mounted patrol at events like at Harbor Yard Arena. For years the mounted patrol has been patrolling a number of areas of the city including routinely visiting various housing projects throughout the city. Sergeant Norton told me the horses are a way of breaking the ice and make police more approachable unlike a police patrol car. People come up and ask to pet the horses and then engage the officers in conversation. Officer Norton also said it is possible they prevent crime before it even happens. It’s a great public relations and a big hit with the children.
From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:
The horses offer several advantages to law enforcement. When dealing with crowds, one mounted officer is as effective as 10 officers on foot and, on patrol, their high visibility deters crime. And, they are extremely popular in the community.
“The Police Mounted unit is a valuable asset. Their presence itself deters crime, and they are also extraordinarily popular in the community,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Kids just can’t get enough of them. I know some cities have disbanded their mounted units, but I think they’re too valuable both in fighting crime and in community relations.”
The horses are staples downtown, at parades and at community events and school graduations. But they also are out in the community seven days a week. Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. recalled a public safety assembly at Park City Magnet School last year where students got to see their principal in firefighter gear, see police officers in scuba gear, meet the police and fire chiefs, tour the Dive Team trailer and climb through Fire Department Engine 15.
“By far, the most popular part with the kids were the two horses. After the assembly, I don’t know how many kids remembered my name, but they sure remembered the horses’ names,” Gaudett said. “We send the Mounted Unit to every neighborhood. They’re out in our parks. They attend community events. And when they arrive, they are treated like celebrities. The officers even have baseball card-sized pictures of themselves and their horses to give out to kids.”
And let’s not forget Mr. Ed: