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Mounted Patrol

Tampa Police Mounted Unit

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.

FAQ Meet the Riders Photo Gallery


Riderless Horse Represents A Fallen Officer

Photo Gallery

Getting Started

Officers with Horse Drawn Patrol Wagon (Circa 1900)

After the 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

Horse Patrol In Front Of Tampa Theatre

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 Patrol

Ybor City Patrol

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 District.

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.