What has 12 legs and fights crime?
Two cops on horses in HRM.
The Halifax Regional Police’s two equine officers are back on the beat for the spring and summer seasons. Duty Sergeant and Patrol Cruiser, more commonly referred to as Sarge and Cruise, will be patrolling the streets, attending events and interacting with the community.
Cruise’s partner, Const. Dianne Woodworth, said policing with horses is just one more form of police interaction with the community — and most often a positive interaction.
“Just like mountain bikes … it’s a closer interaction with the community,” she said
Const. Chris Marinelli, who patrols with Sarge, said the police horses generally patrol from April to November. Marinelli, who has been working with HRP’s police horses for the past five years, said Haligonians are always happy to see the horses on patrol.
“It’s a high-profile part of our job,” said Marinelli. “People feel comfortable, they always want to see the police horses. And in that respect, we have an easier time speaking with the general public. Maybe some of the general public that wouldn’t speak to us normally will come to speak to us as a result of having the horses.”
“It’s a positive interaction,” said Woodworth. “Often times when police show up in your neighborhood, unfortunately, it’s not for positive things. When they see the police horses, it’s a positive thing … It kind of opens up a door. They’ll talk to us and say, ‘Well, they’re not so bad, they’re just people.’”
Woodworth said this positive interaction with the community while policing on horseback creates relationships that may not come to be while riding in squad car.
“It’s a bridge between us and the community,” said Woodworth. “They can just see that we’re just people like everybody else. People on horses.”