Horses can serve as the missing link between citizens and police according to the Sureté du Quebec, and that is one of the reasons for its Horse Patrol program which made an appearance in the West Island last week.
The Suburban caught up with SQ officers patrolling the streets in Notre-Dame-de-L’Ile Perrot last week. While at a pit stop at a McDonalds restaurant , two officers took a moment to chat with curious local residents.
Sergeant Huot who was riding a horse named Mistouk next to Sergeant Labre riding on a horse named Orlean told The Suburban that the horses represent a symbol of communication between police and the community. “The horses serve as a link, being well liked animals, they initiate curiosity and communication between officers and citizens” he said.
According to Sergeant Labre, the SQ’s horse riding program began three years ago and officers ride in various regions served by the SQ.
Although the program is mainly geared towards community outreach, the officers also gain certain patrolling advantages. “From my height while patrolling on the horse, I have the advantage of seeing clearly in vehicles if people are wearing their seat belts or manipulating their mobile devices” Sergeant Huot tells The Suburban.
The team is often called on to serve at events and they also have miniature horses that they bring along with them on certain occasions.