Sheriff’s Mounted Unit
During last year’s budget process, there was a considerable amount of discussion in regard to the Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit. I would like to take this opportunity to provide the residents of Rockland County with information about this important law enforcement resource.
This Mounted Unit has been in operation in the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office since 1963. The Unit started with a group of volunteers with their own horses and transitioned to a part-time unit in the 1970’s. In 1999, through the use of grant funding, the Unit became full time, consisting of four full-time and four part-time officers.
Modern community oriented policing requires constructive interaction between members of the public and law enforcement officers. An officer on horseback provides a positive opportunity for interaction in a way that an officer in a traditional patrol car can’t. The fact that children and adults alike are drawn to the horses, presents an opportunity to engage constructively with members of the community.
Sometimes referred to as 10 feet-tall officers, the added height and visibility that the horses give their police riders works two ways, it allows officers to see what is going on in a wider area and it also allows people in that wider area to see the officers. That in turn helps deter crime and it also helps people find officers when they need them, as well as helping officers to locate people lost in large crowds at the many special events they patrol.
Additonally, each spring the Sheriff’s Mounted Unit hosts an eighty hour Remount School, where mounted officers from law enforcement agencies in the New York Metropolitan region are recertified or receive the basic course for mounted officers, which is approved by the NYS Office of Public Safety and the Municipal Police Training Council. The training is provided by two members of our unit who are certified instructors. This year’s Remount School culminated with a graduation ceremony on April 22nd and included members of the Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, New York State Department of Corrections-Otisville Correctional Facility, New York City Parks Enforcement Division and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.
From April through November the Mounted Unit rotates between 3 villages in the County, all at the request of the Police Departments, Town Supervisors, and Village Mayors. The Mounted Unit also provides extra patrols at Rockland Community College. Additionally, each fall, the Mounted Unit provides, at the request of the school districts, high visibility patrols and crowd control at football games for North Rockland, Nyack, Suffern and Spring Valley.
In 2015 the Rockland County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit will again be assisting various communities during the summer months at the request of community leaders and Police Chiefs.
Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica requested that the unit return to the village that they have been patrolling for several years. The Mounted Unit will work in conjunction with the Spring Valley Police Department and concentrate on designated areas that may need additional police resources such as Veteran’s Memorial Park and areas with increased reports of crime or large crowds.
The Mounted Unit will also return to the Village of Nyack at the request of Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty and Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, to assist the Orangetown Police Department with large crowds during scheduled events and to help maintain order in the Village during the late evening hours and on weekends.
Haverstraw Mayor Michael F. Kohut has requested the assistance of the horses in the downtown areas of Haverstraw Village for regular patrol. Additionally, the Mounted Unit will continue to provide mounted officers for crowd control functions for parades and other special events and to assist in safely clearing the streets for the post–festival activities. Patrols in the Village of Haverstraw are coordinated with Chief Charles Miller and members of the Haverstraw Police Department.
The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office will be providing a high visibility police presence in focused areas to assist these three police agencies and any other community in Rockland that requests our assistance.
The Sheriff’s Mounted Unit maintains a rotating and random schedule that is split between all three villages and RCC. The hours and days will vary depending on the need or special situation for each area and the Mounted Unit’s tours of duty and assignments.
For additional information about the Sheriff’s Office or the Mounted unit, visit us at our social media sites; Facebook page “Rockland County Sheriff’s Office” , Twitter account; @RocklandSheriff and website;
Rockland County Sheriff Office Website You can also load the free “MobilePatrol” APP on your smartphone for a one stop resource for all Rockland County Sheriff’s Office information (inmates, news, alerts, sex offenders, etc.).