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Save the Mounted Police Patrol

Posted By johntarantino1 on February 25, 2010

mounted horse patrolIf you love the Mounted Police Unit, please write the City Council, the Mayor, the Portland Police Chief, and the Portland Central Precinct. With the current recession, the city of Portland is facing budget cuts, and unfortunately the Mounted Patrol Unit is being looked at for cuts.

In December 2009, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association made a motion and approved to write a letter of support for the MPU. They are a good asset to the community and an important aspect of our neighborhood and city. If the Mounted Patrol Unit is cut, the Pearl District will not feel the same without them.

A letter dated Jan 2nd was sent to the Police Chief to express neighborhood support for MPU. Steve Trujillo, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, who was involved in the budget talks, says he hopes the mounted unit is saved again. “We love the MPU,” Trujillo said. “It’s got a unique role.”

Portland’s Police Bureau estimates a $585,000 savings from scrapping the Mounted Patrol Unit, made up of six officers and one sergeant, and transferring four of the officers to Central Precinct’s bike patrol. According to USA Today article titled “Mounted police fading in sunset?“, the cuts reflect a trend that has been growing in recent years. There were more than 300 full-time mounted units in the U.S. a decade ago, and fewer than 100 remain. Their is a group on Facebook called Friends of Portland’s Mounted Patrol with over 1000 members in support of saving the MPU. What will it take to save them from the budget cuts? It probably will take a public outcry…which successfully saved the MPU in the past. According to the Oregonian article titled Portland police propose cutting mounted patrol and leaving some positions vacant to balance budget

Portland’s mounted patrol began as a three-person unit in the summer of 1979, then grew to seven officers and a sergeant by the following year. Its funding was cut in 1985. That spurred a public outcry, resulting in downtown business owners and a group called Save Our Steeds to keep the unit afloat for a few months, until the city restored funding in 1986.

Apparently, public hearings to address the program’s future are planned for March. Once we find out more details on these public hearings, we hope that neighbors can create enough of an outcry to help save our friendly mounted horse patrol program.

Author: johntarantino1

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