The Garden Grove Police Mounted Enforcement Unit was established in 1999 by a team of officers who felt it would be an asset to the organization. It has been truly a “grassroots” effort from the start. Each of the officers involved works a regular assignment, such as Patrol, Traffic, Investigations, or Gang Suppression. An officer's duties with the Mounted Enforcement Unit is in addition to their normal responsibilities.
Each officer on the unit supplies their own horse, saddle, tack, and truck and horse trailer for transportation. The officers pay for all costs of maintaining the horses including feed, shoeing and veterinary costs. All assigned officers and their mounts attend a 40-hour Mounted Enforcement School approved by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Each officer and mount also attends training a minimum of once each month.
Training tends to be extremely rigorous for both horse and rider. It includes equitation to hone the officer’s riding skills and sensory training to expose the horses to things that would frighten an ordinary horse into a dead run. Also included are obstacle courses, gunfire, baton training and practice in high-risk stops and contacts.
Officers and their mounts attend monthly trainings as part of the Orange County Regional Mounted Unit. This is a composite of all of Orange County’s Mounted Units and includes deputies & officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Anaheim Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department and the Buena Park Police Department. This is to enable all of the units to work together when necessary by keeping the training consistent between the different departments. This allows each participating agency to call on assistance from the other mounted units in Orange County for special events or problems.
In addition to these training sessions, officers must train regularly with their equine partners on their own time as well. Being a mounted officer is truly a huge commitment.
The officers and their equine partners are often deployed at community events including the annual Strawberry, Tet and Arab American Festivals, the summer concerts in the park and the annual National Night Out.
The Mounted Enforcement Unit can also be deployed in areas of large crowds. The officers and their mounts are trained to work as a squad to control uncooperative groups of people. Crowds will generally disperse peacefully when a line of mounted officers begins approaching them.
General Enforcement/Crime Suppression
Mounted teams excel at high visibility patrol. The high vantage point of an officer on horseback affords an excellent view of the area. In addition, the officers are highly visible both to citizens and criminals, providing a sense of security to citizens and a powerful deterrent to criminals. Deployments can include, but are not limited to, shopping areas, parks, resort areas and areas experiencing a temporarily high-crime rate.
If you would like more information on the Mounted Enforcement Unit, please contact Cpl. Jim Holder at MountedEnforcement@ci.garden-grove.ca.us .