Law Enforcement by Horseback
Mounted police officers patrol designated areas on horseback. Mounted police officers can often be seen in cities, rural areas, and in parks and wilderness areas around the world. Many police departments employ mounted police officers because they:
- Are often better suited to patrol areas where cars would be impractical or noisy.
- Can be used in crowd control and riot duty because of their height and intimidating nature.
- Can act as a crime deterrent by allowing for visible police presence on the streets.
- Are ceremonial and picturesque.
Mounted police officers are used frequently in the UK for crime prevention and high visibility policing roles. In the United States, mounted police officers are essential to many different law enforcement agencies. The US Border Patrol, for example, uses mounted police officers to patrol the US border with Mexico. One of America’s oldest police organizations, The United States Park Police, has mounted police units that patrol parks in Washington DC, New York City, and San Francisco. The United States Park Police is a unit of the Department of the Interior and holds jurisdiction in all national parks areas and certain other state and federal lands.
How to Become a Mounted Police Officer
To become a mounted police officer you will need to have served as a sworn police officer for at least 2 years. After you have done a few years of cruiser patrol, you will be eligible to apply for a specialized position in the mounted police unit. If you are accepted, you will need to participate in a training program. Those who apply to The United States Park Police spend 10 weeks training at the Edgewater Stables in Rock Creek Park in Washington DC.
It is important that you like animals and are in good physical shape, but it is not necessary to have any prior experience riding horses. In the training programs you will learn both horse care and policing tactics.
Mounted Police Officer Education Requirements
If you are interesting in becoming a mounted police officer you should start by earning your degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or police science. This way you will have the best chance at finding a job as a police officer and be on your way to a successful career in a mounted police unit.