My Visual Journal

Miami and Fort Lauderdale mounted police training

Fort Lauderdale, 6/16/11 -- Senior Sergeant Kevin Finn instructs the Miami and Fort Lauderdale mounted police units at Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale Thursday June 16. The units get together about once a month to work on crowd control formations and to familiarize the horses with each other. "This is a dying breed It's a shame," said Miami sergeant Rafael Toirac of mounted police. Miami-Dade country disbanded its unit last year, but Toriac thinks that mounted police are cheaper and more effective than patrol cars. The horses are all donated and it only costs $4-5 a day to feed them. "The cost of one gallon of gas," Toirac said. Mounted police are assigned an area to patrol, ticket and arrest like their car-driving counterparts. Their slow pace and welcoming horses get people to talk to them more than police officers in cars. "People like horses, they know we aren't just here to be mean" Toirac said. Even known criminals come to pet the horse because they have children and young relatives. "We even solved a murder last year," Finn said. Currently, Miami has 10 mounted police and Fort Lauderdale has about 5. Lindsay Brown/South Florida Sun Sentinel

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