The Evansville Police Department has put two officers on horseback.
The EPD introduced its mounted patrol at The Boys and Girls of Evansville, where kids had an opportunity to meet the horses named Blondie and Speck.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said it’s not only about public safety, but building relationships.
(He said seeing children petting horses in the heart of the city is something you don't see every day.)
Police Chief Billy Bolin said the animals provide a boost…
(The animals are tall they can see above crowds, they can see above barriers, there are things they can do that officers on foot can't do. There will be times when the horses can go places police can't go in a vehicle.)
Bolin said the horses are not meant to intimidate, but to engage with the public – possibly at a crime scene…
(He said you can use them to have officers walk the area and people will want to come up and pet them. When they do that, you can ask people if they saw anything. He said if you're in a police car, people just stare at you.
Sgt. Tyrone Wood rides and trains Blondie, which was purchased from Angola Prison in Louisiana…
(He said they pop balloons, roll strollers around, and turn on sirens to get the animals used to soounds they may encounter in the city.)
The Evansville Police Department Foundation and OneMain Financial are funding the mounted patrol.