The Mounted Patrol Unit supports the uniform districts for the most efficient
utilization of the department's work force. Secondary to their patrol function is that of public
education to good will ambassadors to the citizens and tourists visiting the
City of Tampa. This is achieved partially by assisting Neighborhood
Affairs Liaisons, working with Hillsborough County Schools, and by working the numerous special
events in and around the city.
incorporation of the City of Tampa, the first request for
funds for a horse and feed was by the City Marshal.
The request was approved by City Council for the police
force on October 02,1891.
The job of the
horse or the mule at that time was very different then the
many uses of today. During the early times of the
city's development, the horse or mule in law enforcement was
used for pulling the prisoner transport wagon. Most
officers walked, rode a bicycle, or were dropped of in their
area by the horse drawn wagon.
A New Beginning
In modern time, the
Mounted Patrol Unit was instituted in October of 1985.
Mayor Bob Martinez believed in the idea, as a growing city
there was a need for the mounted patrol as a support unit
for the police department. After the first ninety days
of training, the Mounted Patrol Unit hit the street for the
Gasparilla Day Parade. The unit had great success with
the community and as a support unit for the department.
In April of 1988
the unit was disbanded due to the manpower struggle and
calls for service in patrol division. All of the
horses were given back to those who donated them. The
riding equipment and trailers were all sold at auction.
Resurrection of the Mounted
In February of 1996, the organization for
the development of a new Mounted Patrol Unit was started.
The Ybor City Business Association committed funding for the
equipment necessary to work the streets of the Entertainment
After the unit of four riders started
working the street, the impact was noticed immediately.
The officers on horseback assisted in all major events of
the city with crowd control and perimeter patrol. The
demands for the mounted officers were more than could be
covered by the officers assigned to the unit.
Annually, the unit conducts an average of
85-95 public demonstrations. The demonstrations are
elementary and middle school level for positive roll model
and educational motivation. Other demonstrations are
for civic groups and career education groups.
The Tampa Police Mounted Patrol Unit, is the premier model for
training and professionalism. Many agencies use
Tampa's Mounted Patrol Unit as the standard for developing a
mounted unit for their jurisdiction.