Portland's Mounted Patrol, first established in 1891, is still one of our most effective policing tools and is cherished by our city. Mayor Hales has now included the program in his budget proposal. But we need to raise $400K to cover the costs of the MPU for the next two years. Donate now at www.OurMountedPatrol.com
The Portland Police Bureau's Mounted Patrol Unit patrols primarily the downtown area, combating street crime. In addition, the MPU has the ability to trailer to other parts of the city to be used for special events, crowd control, and park problems.
The officers assigned to the MPU perform standard police functions: make arrests, conduct investigations, issue citations and handle routine calls. The activity level of the unit is high due to the fact that they are able to patrol problem areas in a slower, more thorough manner. The mounted officer is an effective method of crime prevention especially in the downtown area due to the high visibility factor and quick response capability in congested areas.
The Police Horses also provide a connection between the police and the community that is needed right now in our city.
The budget won't be finalized until after public hearings are held this month. Sign this petition to help keep Police Horses a part of Portland.
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MPU: A VALUABLE ASSET
- Deterrent to Crime – The MPU serves as an effective deterrent to crime due to the high visibility of its mounted officers and their ability to quickly respond to problems in congested areas.
- Enhances Neighborhood Safety and Livability – The MPU’s high visibility, uniformed police presence creates a sense of safety for visitors, workers, and residents alike. The officers and horses of the MPU contribute immeasurably to the overall livability and quality of life in the areas they work.
- Policing of All Kinds – The MPU is used to enforce all manner of laws and ordinances from felony drug offenses and assaults to petty thefts and pedestrian violations. During the 1980s, when the MPU was at its peak staffing, they were able to make 30 % of all Misdemeanor arrests in Portland.
- Carries its Share of Policing Workload - Currently, the MPU is responsible for approximately 83 citations and arrests each month, or 1000 a year.
- Accessibility With Citizens - The MPU has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of horses in creating a sense of accessibility between citizens and the mounted officers. They generate an opportunity for rapport between officers and citizens that is unique among policing strategies. As then-Mayor Vera Katz said in 2002, the MPU “puts a gentle face on this city.”
- Popular With the Community – The MPU consistently demonstrates its popularity with the Portland community. Our Facebook page was LIKED by more than 5000 people in 3 days.
- Effective at Preventing Crime – They are effective at neighborhood problem solving and quality of life issues. The MPU officers’ high visibility, uniformed presence not only gives neighborhood residents and workers a sense of comfort and safety but it also gives potential wrong doers an opportunity to consider the advisability of committing crimes of opportunity. Further, the officers’ vantage point atop a horse provides them with the unique ability to spot problems from considerable distance away, a capability unmatched by officers on foot or bikes.
- Effective Crowd Control Resource – The MPU has repeatedly shown their effectiveness in crowd control situations. Mounted officers have served as the front line defense for officers on foot and have been particularly useful in rescuing officers and citizens from threatening and potentially dangerous crowds.