Duluth's mounted police unit to relaunch after 10 years

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Four Duluth police officers are trading in the comforts of their squad cars for saddles.

The officers, who have little to no experience riding, have just four months to learn how be an officer on horseback, according to Northland News Center.

The police department is set to deploy its mounted patrol unit in June just in time for one of the city's biggest events – Grandma's Marathon.

The department dropped its mounted program in 2004 after losing its lease on its stable, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The department has received about $100,000 in grants and donations to restart the program, which costs about $30,000 a year for boarding, feeding and caring for the horses.

Last week, the department finalized an agreement with the Three Rivers Park District in Hennepin County, which disbanded its mounted program. The deal includes four horses already trained for law enforcement, which came much cheaper than buying new, the newspaper reports.

Police departments typically utilize mounted units for crowd control – an officer on horseback can do the job of 10 to 20 officers on foot because of their wider range of view, especially in crowded areas, according to the St. Paul Police Mounted Patrol Foundation website. Minneapolis, St. Paul and the University of Minnesota are the only other police departments in the state that have mounted units, St. Paul Mounted Police says. Several Minnesota counties use volunteer units for special events.

Duluth's mounted unit will mostly patrol the downtown business district, Canal Park and be present at major events throughout the city. But the program won't just be doing public relations for the department. Police say the program will pay for itself by deterring crime and lessening the workload for downtown officers, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

"We don't want to just prance around and look pretty," Officer Amber Peterson, a mounted police officer in training, told the newspaper. "We want to get out there and make a difference. We want to show we're there to work and improve the downtown crime perception."

Peterson, along with the other mounted officers, recently began learning how to ride and care for the horses. Once they feel comfortable on the horse, they’ll move into law enforcement training. They'll learn how to control crowds, make arrests and assist in traffic stops from atop the horses, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Next Up

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

WCCO-AM's Sheletta Brundidge talks with Lil Nas X

830-WCCO host calls for Dave Lee's replacement to be person of color

WCCO-AM has not had a person of color as a weekday daytime host in its history.

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 8.57.50 AM

Harmful grass fly larvae found in shipment to International Falls

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials safeguarded the shipment until the threat could be mitigated.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota high schoolers will be reimbursed for canceled European trips

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with the travel company Friday.

Donald Trump

Trump pardons Minnesota man convicted on drug charge in 1992

John Harold Wall was among the 143 people granted clemency in one of Trump's final acts as president.

Lyn 65

9 businesses in Richfield affected by strip-mall redevelopment plans

Affected businesses may be eligible for grants that would help keep them in Richfield.

CBP heater

More than $260K in fake heaters seized at Minnesota border

The 780 infrared zone heaters were found in a rail car bound for Ranier, Minnesota.

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.

1024px-Hudson,_Wisconsin_9

St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Related