The Dallas Police Department Mounted Unit was established in 1982. After a pilot program that consisted of deploying mounted officers in high burglary areas proved successful, a permanent unit was established. The officers were able to reduce the number of offenses and were well received by the citizens. The public relations aspect was apparent from the beginning and the unit has continually proven that a dedicated officer on horseback is a valuable contributor toward the overall police mission.
The police horse is mostly used as a "patrol vehicle" that can be deployed on back streets, alleys, apartment complexes and other areas. The horse walks at a speed of 3-5 mph which allows for real observation by the officer. Due to the height of the horse and officer, both are visible to the public and the police presence is magnified.
The Mounted Unit is located on the grounds of Fair Park near downtown Dallas. The barn and offices are staffed year around and officers work in all types of weather. The officers are deployed to all parts of the city based on crime trends and requests from patrol divisions.