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Head Toward the Downtown Corral?

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, February 11, 2008, at 03:37PM
horse law [Flickr]

Photo of a police horse in Seattle by

In late summer a new Downtown Neighborhood Watch may ride into town. That's the word from Officer Stephan Nichols, an LAPD Central Division Senior Lead. He says that an LAPD and Civilian Mounted Downtown Neighborhood Watch program is in the early planning stages. Nichols says that the riders, “Will be extra eyes and ears for the Downtown districts of Chinatown, El Pueblo, Fashion District and the Toy District.”

This version of a Downtown neighborhood watch program would be modeled after volunteer mounted rider units based in the San Fernando Valley. “We are always open to working with other Divisions,” says Kim Snyder of LAPD West Valley Division. She adds volunteer units are in place that can help start the program during major Downtown events like Little Tokyo’s 68th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival, scheduled for August 16 – 24, 2008).

A two-hour Downtown ride was held last week with four on horseback. Officer Nichols says of this first try, “It tested well with the public. People in skid row enjoyed seeing the mounted presence as well.” The general Los Angeles horse riding public in and out of Downtown would be invited to join, he adds. One would think that DeeLANC, the horse DLANC bought for LAPD in 2006, should be given a special invite.

At this stage, the program startup is dependent on how much funding and how many volunteers can be gathered. If it ends up coming through, the late Joel Bloom can be channeled to again hear the words; “Alright people! Mount Up!”

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