LAPD's Mounted Patrols Honored for Their Work on Downtown Streets
Rudy DeLeon II and "Raphael" have been partners for 15 years.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — They may look a little out of place sauntering through Downtown streets, but LAPD's mounted units have proven themselves an important part of neighborhood policing.
The horses have become a common sight in Skid Row, where mounted officers have been an integral part of the Safer Cities Initiative.
"If you look at a three year period of deployment, the units took part in 3,000 arrests," said Sargent Michael Porter of Metropolitan Division, Mounted Platoon. "They have a calming effect on residents and give officers a high profile seeing over people."
Central City East Association held an appreciation luncheon Thursday for the Mounted Platoons of Metro Division. While humans wearing LAPD uniforms, boots and spurs were feeding on BBQ inside the BID's offices, their horses were in trailers parked on Crocker, patiently waiting for duty.
Temperament is important for horses that would serve on the streets. "Over at the stables, in Los Feliz, children can be near the horses near a fence," says Rudy DeLeon II, who has had the same "partner" for 15 years. "If a horse seems skittish, he doesn't pass the first test."
Liking kids has its rewards. "What a horse eats is very important,” said Porter to children herded in from nearby Para Los Ninos. “If they see us bring them carrots, they would want them all the time. Anyone want to help give the horses a treat?"
Needless to say, there was no shortage of volunteers.