The Fresno Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit was established in 1999. In partnership with Citizen’s for a Safer Fresno, a barn was built and horses purchased and trained. The Unit began with six horses and six full time officers. The Mounted Unit teams deployed throughout the city providing support to Patrol and participating in community events. In 2010, due to budget restraints, the decision was made to disband the Unit. Community support for the continuation of the Unit was tremendous however, and through gracious donations our Unit was able to continue to operate! Since 2010, our Unit has continued to remain a community resource funded solely through community donations.
Currently, the Fresno Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit is only one of a few left remaining in the San Joaquin Valley. You may have seen us at the Farmers’ Market in River Park, Grizzlies Stadium during baseball season, patrolling the various shopping centers during Operation Christmas Presence, working Mardi Gras in the Tower District, conducting presentations for Fresno, Clovis and Fresno County school children or proudly marching in one of the many Fresno parades!
The Mounted Patrol Unit consists of 4 certified patrol horses and 1 horse currently in training. All of our horses and riders must successfully complete a rigorous 40 hour P.O.S.T. certified course, where they are challenged with equitation, squad formations, crowd control and patrol operations scenarios. Upon completion of the course, all officers must attend monthly trainings to maintain riding and operational proficiencies.
All of the horses used in the Unit are the Standardbred breed, ranging in age from 8-19 years old.
Membership in the Unit is made up of sworn officers, reserve police officers and C.O.P.s. The full time officers are assigned to other duties (patrol/investigations/K9/etc) and the Mounted Patrol Unit is an auxiliary/voluntary assignment for them. There are currently 7 full time officers, 5 reserve officers and 3 C.O.P.’s/Volunteers.
The Mounted Patrol Unit is always seeking new members/volunteers. Potential applicants can contact Sergeant Bill Dooley at [email protected] for further information.
For those seeking to assist the Unit through donations, all donations go directly to our non-profit partner, the FPNWA, an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit 100% of donations will go solely to the ongoing care, training and equipping of our loyal horses.
What type of horses do you ride?
Our horses are Standard bred. The Standard bred is often described as “honest”. He is robust, plain, rugged, capable of performing any job, and he is one of the equine world’s best kept secrets. Not only is he the fastest racing breed in harness, he also excels off the racetrack. He is a medium-build horse, ranging in size from 14.2 to 17.2 hands and weighing 900 to 1,200 pounds. He is a willing partner in most endeavors and enjoys human companionship.
How old are the horses?
Our horses are six and seven years old and they are all geldings.
Can the horses see as well as we do?
A horse’s vision is one of the best of any mammal. Their eyes are supersensitive to tiny movement very far away and highly sensitive to sudden movement. A horses range of vision is nearly 340 degrees and can see a distance of over a quarter mile.
Do horses have good hearing?
Yes, horses have a much keener sense of hearing than people. Their ears swivel continuously from front to back (180 degrees) which catch sounds from all directions.
Citizens For A Safer Fresno County is a group of local business people dedicated to meeting the needs of local law enforcement. It is a grassroots not-for-profit organization that has undertaken major projects such as Operation Skywatch and Operation Mounted Patrol. Both projects provide resources to both the Fresno Police Department and Fresno County Sheriff’s Department so that helicopters, horses, and related equipment could be purchased for both agencies. Citizens For A Safer Fresno County has been so successful that it has brought together businesses, government, private individuals and schools in a public safety effort that has captured the attention of law enforcement agencies throughout the State of California and beyond.
The good work of Citizens For A Safer Fresno County continues with the ongoing provision of equipment to local law enforcement. Stepping up again, Citizens For A Safer Fresno has lent its support to an effort to obtain over $1,000,000 in funding from the State of California for a regional peace officer’s training facility.