The New Castle County Police Mounted Patrol is working for you!
The New Castle County Police Mounted Unit is a fully operational unit, which deploys its officer and horse teams into communities year round. The unit responds to neighborhoods, which are experiencing problems with crime ranging from traffic violations to felony drug activity, shootings and murders. When the officer and horse teams are sent to a particular neighborhood, they remain there for their entire shift in contrast to the 911 driven officers in police cars who only have enough time to respond to and handle a complaint and then must leave the area for another incident. As a result, all crime ceases while the Mounted Unit is present in the communities they are policing.
The horses are natural liaisons between the police and the community. People are drawn to them and conversations between the police and the community are initiated. To put it simply, no one has ever come up to our officers and asked if they can pet the police car. The intimidation factor diminishes when officers are sitting on horses and an amazing dynamic occurs when members of a community walk up to visit with the horses. The horses open the door of communication in a manner that is much more effective than an officer on bicycle or walking patrol.
While this interaction with community members is priceless, it is not the overriding value of this unit. The members of this unit are some of the most effective officers in the entire division because they are not 911 driven and can devote all of their time to proactive law enforcement.
The County Police have identified the following cost saving measures for offsetting the Mounted Unit budget.
1. Shared costs with local jurisdictions (Wilmington and the University of Delaware). These are in progress and could be in the form of officers as well as shared costs.
2. The County Police has identified local vendors willing to house the unit (mounts and equipment) thus reducing the overall costs.
3. There are many in our community who wish to donate money and time in support of the unit. We are finalizing the necessary mechanisms to ensure a proper acceptance and distribution for any future donations.
Many of our citizenry view the Mounted Unit as a ceremonial function, which only performs at various parades and community events; I assure you this is not the case. This group of officers is used in some of our busiest communities and their versatility allows them a unique law enforcement approach suitable for work in a variety of situations. I trust this information has been helpful. We would invite you to visit our unit to learn more about the proactive policing they do and how we are capitalizing on this versatile unit to impact crime and quality of life. Please call if you are interested.
Senior Lieutenant Michael McGowan
Staff Executive Officer
New Castle County Police
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