Specialist roles in the Police Service – Mounted Police. 

Mounted police units have long been a fixture in policing, embodying a timeless symbol of strength, discipline, and community connection. In the age of modern policing, where high-tech gadgets and fast-paced vehicles dominate the landscape, the sight of officers on horseback remains a captivating and effective approach to maintaining public safety. Mounted Police are a specialist unit within the police service and they operate in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory.

To become a Mounted Police officer,  police officers must have completed their probation period to be eligible to apply, however only officers with plenty of frontline policing experience and a good level of physical fitness and coordination should apply. Candidates must undergo specialised training and demonstrate their riding skills. In addition to basic police training, they receive training in horse handling, equine first aid, and crowd control techniques. They must also pass a rigorous selection process that includes both physical and psychological assessments.

Community Engagement:

One of the most remarkable aspects of mounted police is their ability to forge strong connections with the communities they serve. The towering presence of a horse and rider combination is inherently approachable, providing a unique opportunity for officers to interact with citizens on a personal level. Mounted police often participate in community events, parades, and public gatherings, fostering a positive and approachable image of law enforcement.

Crowd Control and Visibility:

Mounted police offer a distinct advantage in crowd control situations. The elevated position of officers on horseback provides them with a clear vantage point, allowing them to monitor large crowds effectively. The imposing presence of the horses also serves as a deterrent, helping to prevent and manage unruly behaviour. In addition, the visibility of mounted police can be a valuable asset in search and rescue operations, as well as in locating missing persons.

Training and Care:

The successful implementation of mounted police units relies heavily on the rigorous training of both officers and horses. The bond between a mounted police officer and their equine partner is cultivated through specialised training programs that focus on communication, trust-building, and manoeuvring in various scenarios. Additionally, the care and well-being of the horses are of paramount importance, with officers taking on the responsibility of ensuring their partner’s health and happiness. Mounted police officers work closely with their horses and must ensure that their animals are well-cared for and trained to perform in a variety of situations. They play an important role in maintaining public safety and order, and as such are highly respected members of the police service.

Adaptability and Manoeuverability:

While technology has brought about numerous advancements in policing, mounted units remain a versatile asset. Horses can navigate through crowded streets, narrow alleys, and uneven terrain where traditional patrol vehicles may struggle. This adaptability allows mounted police to reach areas that are otherwise inaccessible, making them an invaluable resource in both urban and natural settings.

Conclusion:

Mounted police units are more than just a nostalgic nod to the past; they are a living testament to the enduring connection between police and the communities they serve. With a rich history, community engagement, and unique advantages in crowd control and visibility, mounted police continue to play a vital role in modern policing. As these dedicated officers on horseback continue to uphold tradition and contribute to public safety, their presence serves as a powerful reminder of the timeless bond between humans and horses in the pursuit of justice.

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