I caught these two MPD Officers on Girard St.

IMG_6192, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Oddly both of the horses are named Rusty. [Ed Note: Both of the horses are not named Rusty. I didn’t catch their names.] But I did learn that they are part of MPD Special Operations and are deployed throughout the city based on the greatest need.

11 Comment

  • Where are these horses stabled? Over the past few years, police and carriage horse facilities have been eliminated. (There used to be an active Park Police facility with 9 stalls and a paddock right by the Lincoln Memorial) I hope the city isn’t spending money to drag them from some remote location. The first horse pictured is a gigantic Belgian – what a ride that must be for the officer.

  • Where are they stabled? Are they an expense that doesn’t make sense? I would like to ask the rider of the giant Belgian horse if it makes sense from a policing standpoint. Are the officers already experienced riders?

  • I was a little shocked the first time I saw these two trotting down Euclid St, but I had to stop and wonder, “who picks up after them?” I think it is a great presence of law enforcement in the area regardless of how effective they might be. Presence alone is a great deterrent.

  • While they may not be the most effective vehicle for pursuing law-breakers, the horses are a great way for the police to engage the neighborhood kids. Creating trusted bonds between kids and police is a big part of the solution for safer tomorrow in Columbia Heights.

  • I know Park Police has stables in Rock Creek Park near the zoo. Perhaps MPDs are nearby. I have seen officers riding through the park before.

  • I agree that the horses are a great way to engage the neighborhood kids. Shoot, they are a great way to engage people in general. I’ve been accused of being a big 12 year old, but I always get a big charge out of seeing the horses. They certainly have presence. Plus, having had horses before, I’m always impressed with how unflappable they are given the traffic and noise around them.

  • We saw the fellow on the right exercising that giant Belgian in the little park next to Washington Harbor last summer, and it was quite a sight. He told us that there were only eight mounted MPD officers. I’m so accustomed to seeing mounted Park police that it didn’t register that he was with the city.

  • I havent seen these officers or horses myself, but am glad to know they are around. i moved to DC in the spring of 06 from Ft Lauderdale and had a hard time adjusting to the amount of crime that I saw in my area (Clifton St) and around Malcolm X park. Im not as afraid now and walk the dog in the park at night, but for a while, I didnt! Glad to know that these guys are out there keeping an eye on things and building relations with memebers of the community. I’ll say “hi” when I see them!

  • I understand that police horses are significantly cheaper to maintain than police cruisers. They make very effective law-enforcement tools, too. There’s a reason riot police still use them all over the world.

    I, for one, would love to see more of these bad boys on the streets of DC.

    As for clean-up: DC is already used to being crapped on from a great height, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Steve,

    I think you’re right. I’m believe the U.S. Park police and DC MPD share stabling facilities in Rock Creek Park just south of the Zoo. You can see the facility if you’re running or biking the trail.

  • I saw them doing some training near my old apartment between Shaw and Logan Circle last summer- some little kids from the nearby elementary school were starring at them from across the street and arguing over if it was a real horse or “two dudes in a horse suit.” I kid you not.

    For this reason alone, I think they’re worth far more than their weight in hay and oats to our neighborhood.

    PS- the officer on that Belgian is pretty gigantic too! There’s a lid for every pot! I wouldn’t mess with either of them 🙂

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