CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Mounted patrol horses are back on the Charleston Police force and were sworn in during a ceremony held by Charleston city officials.
After 16 weeks of vigorous training, the patrol horses Watson and Holmes will start patrolling throughout Downtown Charleston mainly through the Central Business District and the Market.
“Just excited to get started. I am ready to start kind of small and I think already we are starting to see the impacts,” says Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
The police department partnered with other law enforcement agencies across the state to help train the horses and to learn how to interact with the people they serve.
“They completed different kinds of stimuli a lot of working with them on the ground. Everything from fireworks, to barricades, different kinds of floats just anything you can think of,” says Sgt. William Gritzuk, with the Charleston Police Department.
Sgt. Gritzuk says he was a part of the department’s mounted patrol before and is excited to have the horses back in action to interact with the community.
“We should be out in the business district during the day and during the entire holiday season. You will see us with jingle bells and probably sleigh bells and with antlers. Letting the community know hey, we are out here,” says Sgt. Gritzuk.
Chief Reynolds says the horses will help bridge the gap and build a relationship with the community and law enforcement.
“It creates a conversation, it creates a positive conversation, creates the ability to talk about other things and begin to build that trust,” says Chief Reynolds.
Chief Reynolds says he hopes to have more horses in the mounted patrol unit in the future.