Friends of Portland's Mounted Patrol
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Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland City Council: Save Portland's Mounted Patrol Unit
Portland's Mounted Patrol, first established in 1891, continues to be one of our most effective policing tools and is cherished by Portlanders. Currently, the City Budget Office recommends that the entire unit be eliminated. It's critically important that the City Council hear from you as they weigh these budget recommendations. Mayor Wheeler has said he wants to bring back Community Policing but this proposed cut would eliminate the best Community Policing tool of the Portland Police Bureau. Community policing is most effective when the police and citizens talk to each other and nothing facilitates that more than our horses. It’s no secret that public trust of our police is at an all time low. Trust is built by communicating. That is why we must protect our most effective icebreaker. The horses of the Mounted Patrol Unit get people talking to police and vice versa! Mayor Wheeler has not yet made a decision whether to keep the Mounted Patrol. Your voice could help ensure they make it into his budget. Sign this petition to send a message to City Council that we want to keep our Police Horses in Portland! Why we need Portland’s Mounted Patrol Unit: ○ 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. ○ 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. Every time the MPU is proposed for elimination, thousands of Portlanders rally to save the unit.