Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Mounties could be coming to West Chester

By Jennifer Edwards, jedwards@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — Officers may be saddling up to improve community policing efforts in this Butler County suburb's expanding neighborhoods and parks.

        The police department could decide to launch a mounted horse patrol unit as soon as next year, Police Chief John Bruce said.

        “If you stick all your police officers in cars and drive them around the community, there won't be enough officers to respond to the calls for service we have,” he said. “We need other ways to get the community talking to officers and actively involved in making this township a safe place to live, and together we can make a difference.”

        At today's 7 p.m. trustee meeting, the chief will give an update on the viability and cost.

        He also will ask trustees for permission to spend about $1,500 from a police department trust fund to support the first horse.

        Rosie, a 12-year-old quarter horse, debuted at Freedom Fest.

        The township could rent her for $1 a year, the chief said. The horses for the unit would cost from $2,000 to $3,000 each to maintain, and more money will be needed to pay for start-up costs such as a trailer and stable.

        The advantages of mounted police are the same as they were a century ago, Chief Bruce said.

        “These horses are good tools in community policing,” he said.“People enjoy coming up and petting them and talking to them and seeing them and then talking to the officer.”


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