Raleigh police Mounted Unit finds new trails amid pandemic

The Mounted Units aren't just for show. The officers have the power to arrest, issue citations and provide backup. Where there are more people, there are also more vulnerabilities.

Video Transcript

JONAH KAPLAN: In case you hadn't noticed, downtown Raleigh not exactly the most exciting place to be during the pandemic. No festivals, no parades, a lot of people working at home. So for Raleigh Police's Mounted Unit, well, they need to find some other trails to do their work.

Meet Ike and Willow, Raleigh PD's two equine officers and their partners, Senior Officer Hood and Officer Montemurro. The Mounted Unit's responsibilities, they cover a lot. You may have seen them for crowd control. But with the exception of last year's George Floyd protests, you'd be hard-pressed to find any big crowds.

That's why now the team is on the road to a greenway or park near you. At least four times a week, Ike, Willow, and the officers serving dual roles as ambassadors and as active patrol. Strategically, they can go a lot of places and do a lot of things officers can't do on a bicycle, motorcycle, or car.

J.A. HOOD: at this horse. You can't miss me. I move so slow it's easy to come talk to me.

D.L. MONTEMURRO: seeing a completely different side of people, which they appreciate and they like to see this.

JONAH KAPLAN: The Mounted Unit, of course, not just for show. The officers, they have the power to arrest, issue citations, provide backup. Coming up later on Eyewitness News, the crimes they're finding, the criminals they're stopping.

Jonah Kaplan, ABC11 Eyewitness News.

- Jonah, thanks.