Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith told WFTV on October 12 that he would be phasing out the department’s Mounted Patrol Unit, citing costs.
The unit currently consists of just two officers and four horses. The operational costs of the horse barn are expected to have cost roughly $220,000 in the past three years, including several recent renovations. The barns are said to expect more renovations to keep them safe for the horses in the coming years but Chief Smith said that wasn’t in the books given the decreasing need for the unit in general.
The Mounted Patrol unit has operated since 1982 and two of the four current horses are expected to retire soon.
The officers will be reassigned to the OPD Traffic Enforcement Unit.