GRPD jumps in the saddle
The Grand Rapids Police Department is partnering with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department to put officers on mounted horseback patrol.
Chief David Rahinsky said functional law enforcement duties and positive engagement with the community are some of the benefits of joining Mounted Unit at the sheriff’s department, or KCSD.
“Officers on horseback provide a better vantage point, are more mobile and create opportunities to promote positive interaction with the public,” Rahinsky said. “For crowd-control purposes during heavily populated events, one mounted officer is the equivalent of about 12 officers on foot.”
Selected officers within the GRPD will attend a two-week basic training session in April for mounted patrol and then participate in additional training with the KCSD Mounted Unit.
The KCSD Mounted Unit was initially established in the early 2000s and has a Mounted Unit Training Center located in Rockford, at 4687 Kroes NE, on nearly 30 acres of land. Officers within the unit are required to participate in regular training programs and work a minimum number of special events each year, according to the KCSD website.
The KCSD Mounted Unit has partnered with the GRPD in the downtown area in the past for several events: ArtPrize, Celebration on the Grand, Fifth Third River Bank Run and New Year’s Eve. Those are the types of events that will feature a mounted GRPD presence.
The GRPD is located at 1 Monroe Center NW, and since the department was founded in 1871, it has grown to staff nearly 290 uniformed personnel and about 80 civilian employees.
The GRPD has also launched a series of area meetings to discuss the department’s mission statement with all stakeholders and identify community priorities.
“It’s unique in law enforcement to undergo such a public review, but we want to make sure that our department’s mission statement aligns with the community we serve,” Rahinsky said. “We want our department to be as responsive, transparent and service oriented as possible.”