Mounted patrol has hit the streets of Bytom
About a month ago police horse patrols appeared in Bytoms.Last week police began patrolling on horseback. Police Chief Artur Paczyna said Bytom will have also mounted patrols.The first mounted unit of two policemen began taking a spin through city parks on August 16. The riders want to get their horses accustomed to their new city surroundings before putting them on the street for extended periods. The horses are two of the best from the Zbroslawice Stud Farm. The farm is a famed private operation in the village of Zbroslawice, near the city of Tarnowskie Gory in Silesia Province.The riders are new police officers especially trained to work with horses.The riders look for people causing public disturbances in the parks and for illegal garbage dumps. The horses will walk along the parks and other green sites of the city on their days off, and work for eight hours a day with rest and feed breaks.”Mounted patrols in parks and woods are the best solution from a logistical point of view,” Police Chief Artur Paczyna said in an interview with Radio Katowice.Mayor Piotr Koj wrote on his blog that most residents like the mounted patrols, which are fixtures of major cities throughout Europe. Horse patrols impart a sense of protection to those making use of public areas. The patrols can quickly move in to deal with traffic problems or street disturbances.Mounted patrols can do some things much better than officers on foot – for example, control crowds. In other cities the patrols are seen at concerts, parades, sporting events, demonstrations and other events that draw many people. One officer on horseback equals about 10 on foot when it comes to controlling crowds, police say. That’s because those in the crowd shrink before the size and power of a horse.Officers can also ride horses into areas where a police car can’t go to check out a crime or pursue a criminal. In addition, a mounted officer is a crime deterrent, police say, because would-be criminals can see him blocks away. Because an officer atop a horse is at a height of 10 feet, he can see a long way off. And he can look over fences and walls to spot crimes that pedestrians would be unable to see.Both the horses and riders get training in search and rescue. A mounted officer can search for a long time and carry supplies that could help in a rescue. Horses also increase friendly contact between officers and the public, police say. Seldom is public attention so magnetically drawn to police as it is to an officer on horseback.