Soon Clearwater residents might hear the clip-clop of horses’ hooves now that the city council has approved a plan allowing a new mounted patrol.
Reserve police officers and volunteers — as opposed to those among the rank and file — will ride the animals. While they will have arrest powers, they won’t use them unless “immediate intervention is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or death during an in-progress violent offense,” the proposal said.
The horses will be used for activities like patrolling shopping center parking lots during the holidays and watching parks where police have received complaints about men meeting for sex, said Elizabeth Watts, spokeswoman for Clearwater Public Safety.
“We just want to be able to have a more consistent presence out there in those wooded areas that aren’t as easy to reach or patrol routinely,” Watts said.