Cleveland State University Police Patrol Campus on Horseback

The new program aims to enhance officer capabilities and improve community relations.

Some police officers patrolling Cleveland State University’s campus will be on horseback as part of a new program between the school and city police.

The mutual agreement between the university and the Cleveland Police Department was adjusted to include horse patrols last year.

Campus police officer Toni Jones completed six months of training for the program and recently began patrolling campus on horseback with city police officer Mike Herrin.

Jones will spend half of her full-time job at the school with the mounted unit, according to Jones and Herrin’s route will go through the CSU campus and into Public Square.

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Cleveland Traffic Commissioner James Muhic describes the horse patrol as “a positive community relations tool.”

“The horses allow us to have contact with people who might normally not talk to police,” Muhic says. “The horses are disarming.”

The Cleveland Police Department’s mounted unit has nine horses that patrol different areas of the city. Last year, the department offered to provide a horse to the university if they provided an officer to train.

“It creates visibility and adds to the partnership and enforcement,” Police Chief Gary Lewis says.

Muhic says beyond benefits in community relations, the horses give officers the ability to keep a high vantage point.

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