Mounted Patrol Unit314-612-7941
History of the Mounted Patrol
On March 18, 1867, the Missouri Legislature passed a law which allowed for the creation of the Mounted Patrol Unit within the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. The original unit consisted of 16 officers who patrolled throughout the city. The Unit grew quickly to 52 horses, and in 1893 the Mounted Police moved to Forest Park where the Planetarium is currently located. The early 1900s brought many changes to the Mounted Patrol Unit. As cars were developed, many people considered horses to be a thing of the past. In 1931 the Department sold 20 of its 30 remaining horses as officials said horses were “too slow to combat modern crime.” The remaining horses were moved to a stable at Fifteenth and Spruce and were primarily responsible for parking enforcement and traffic control. In April 1948, the Mounted Patrol Unit was officially abolished in favor of the modern day vehicle.
In 1970, more than 100 years after the Mounted Patrol Unit was originally established, St. Louis Mayor A.J. Cervantes made a proposal to the Board of Police Commissioners to reestablish the Mounted Patrol Unit. Cervantes had studied Mounted Units in cities across the country and believed a revived Mounted Patrol would be beneficial to the city. A year later, a newly reorganized Mounted Patrol Unit was established in its current location in Forest Park. A former airplane hanger was used as the unit’s headquarters which was staffed by 12 Police Officers and 10 horses.
Today, the Mounted Patrol operates with two sergeants, fourteen officers, three civilians and four horses.
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Mounted Patrol UnitThe Mounted Patrol Unit operates as part of the Traffic Safety Division. Mounted Patrol is responsible for patrolling the nearly 1300 acres of Forest Park on a 24-hour basis. They assist with crowd control at major events and represent the Department in annual parades in St. Louis.