As of Tuesday, November 19, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit has been disbanded.
Chief Richard Smith announced Tuesday that after long and careful deliberation, the officers in the Mounted Patrol Unit will be reassigned to open spots in patrol divisions, allowing eight additional detectives to be assigned to the Homicide Unit to assist.
At the time of this writing, Kansas City, Missouri, has had 134 homicides in 2019, which is 13 more than this time last year.
In April this year, public testimony was given and dozens of residents offered comments on why the Mounted Patrol Unit was imperative to the community.
Chief Smith ultimately made the decision to keep the unit intact but adjusted their priorities to focus on targeted policing strategies.
According to the KCPD website, the Mounted Patrol Section is a “valuable asset to the community,” offering crowd control, crime control and deterrence, and community relations.
Originally formed in June 2006, the Mounted Patrol Unit currently consists of eight officers, one sergeant, and nine horses.
Because the majority of the horses in the Mounted Patrol Unit were donated, the department will offer them back to their original owners.
“Reducing violent crime is my top priority, and the Board has communicated that is theirs, as well,” Chief Smith said. “This decision is based solely on putting our limited resources where they are most needed to address that priority.”