Duluth’s Mounted Patrol Looks Ahead to Get Ready For Summer Patrolling
Four Officers Train With Their Four Legged Friends
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They’re big with flowing manes, large personalities and long tails and members of the Duluth Police Department are now busy training to use them on the force.
This summer, you’ll see local officers patrolling on horses for the second year in a row on the streets of Duluth.
It’s been 4 months since the mounted patrol last hit the streets of Duluth.
But now, the program that gets officers out of their squad cars and on the saddle is ready to re-launch for the summer as officers are training hard with their horses.
“We are looking forward to getting out on the street. It’s been a long winter,” said Officer Craig Lindberg of the Duluth Police Department.
When it comes to security being on the horses gives officers a huge height advantage making them more visible to the public.
Officers say the horses are much friendlier than squad cars.
“People seem to find us more approachable than on officer going by in a squad car,” said Lindberg.
Their extensive training during the off season consists of practicing maneuvering and control of the horse.
Their main goal is to work on keeping and maintaining a bond with them.
Riding instructor at River Ranch Arena, Jenn Hovde, says the horses have to listen to and trust the rider.
The officers are looking to add more skill to their riding for the upcoming season.
“We’ve been practicing a lot with jumping so we can become better riders,” Lindberg expressed.
The sites and sounds of Duluth can also be a disadvantage.
So, in their current training the officers are using loud noises and different types of obstacles to get used to the police style training.
After a year of learning under their belts, the riders are ready for whatever’s thrown at them.
“We’ve had a lot of people try and run. But, as soon as they look back and see there is a horse coming at them they change their mind,” Lindberg said.
Just because they are on the job doesn’t mean you can’t say “Hello.”
But, the officers request one thing.
“We may be on a call. So, be patient and don’t come up and just touch the horse or start petting the horse. That can be dangerous,” said Lindberg.
Besides their normal training, the Mounted Patrol will be heading to Minneapolis at the end of April for more training with formation and crowd control.
The officers plan to get back on the streets in May.