DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has provided the police department with suggestions on how to cut about $8 million from its budget.
One of the suggestions was doing away with the Mounted Patrol, which includes five horses and three full-time officers who ride them.
Officers use horses every day in the city of Denver — primarily downtown. They’re also used for crowd and riot control, and many special, public events throughout the year.
It costs just under $40,000 a year for the five horses. No decisions have been made yet.
The riders say the Mounted Patrol is right in line with Chief Robert White’s desire for more police presence and public relations in the community.
WEB EXTRA: Denver Police Mounted Patrol Interview (17 Minutes)
“For me, it’s just knowing that every day somebody gets happy knowing that we are there,” Officer Leon Tafoya with the Mounted Patrol said. “Every day, we don’t plan on it, but when we go out on the street, every day somebody wants to come up and see my horse.”
Cutting the Mounted Patrol is one many, many suggestions by the mayor. It’s one that’s come up before in the past and many police departments across the nation have had to cut their mounted patrols.
The police chief will ultimately make the decision on where cuts will be made and then present that to the city at the end of next month.