What does the Mounted Patrol do?
The Minneapolis Mounted Patrol Unit is highly visible and very well received by the public. It was created in 1996 with two riders and three police horses. Today the unit has 8 horses, mostly donated by private citizens. It is overseen by a downtown sector Lieutenant and one Mounted Patrol Sergeant. There are currently 22 sworn police officers who are fully trained riders.
The Mounted Patrol is a valuable asset to the community for several reasons, including the following:
- Crowd Control – The expertise of a mounted unit officer in crowd control is renowned. The officers are used extensively at concerts, parades, sporting events, demonstrations and other events that take place throughout the year. It has been estimated that one mounted officer on horseback has the effect of ten officers on foot.
- Crime Control – A mounted officer can be seen for blocks, presenting a greater crime deterrent; every mounted officer is 10 feet tall. Being on horseback enables a mounted officer to see at greater distances as well as over privacy fences and other tall barriers. Mounted officers are also able to ride on horseback into areas where a squad car cannot go.
- Search & Rescue – The officers and horses are trained for search and rescue. A mounted officer can carry ample supplies and remain searching for long periods of time.
- Community Policing – Horses dissolve barriers and increase personal contact between the public and officers. Seldom is public attention so magnetically drawn to police as it is to an officer on horseback.
"The elevated position of Mounted Officers makes them six times more visible and helps to spot and deter certain types of crime. However, there is something more that a Mounted Unit offers. The officer and horse provide a sense of protection to the citizens making use of public areas. On the streets, the Mounted Patrol officers high position, visibility and mobility enable them to deal quickly with street disturbances and traffic problems. The Mounted Patrol brings high visibility and presence connecting them to the community they serve."
Sergeant Angela Dodge
The unit currently assists with:
- Neighborhood/street patrol
- Crowd control after bar closings
- Special events
- Sporting events
- Planned and unplanned civil disturbances
- Various community picnics
- National Night Out
- Special park and neighborhood events
- Outbreaks of civil unrest
The Mounted Patrol is headquartered in the First Precinct, 19 North 4
th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401, (612) 673-2025. For additional information, please e-mail us at
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011