|NBPD Mounted Enforcement Unit
NBPD is a part of the Orange County Regional Mounted Enforcement Unit which consists of seven police agencies: Newport Beach PD, Orange County Sheriff’s Dept, Anaheim PD, Garden Grove PD, Huntington Beach PD, Buena Park PD, and Santa Ana PD. The combined number of horses from all agencies is approximately 40.
The NBPD Mounted Enforcement Unit began on June 1, 2013. It currently consists of two Mounted Officers and two horses. NBPD horses are personally owned and maintained by each individual officer at their own expense.
NBPD Mounted Enforcement duties include:
- Routine patrol
- Special events Crowd control/protests Parades
- Public events (e.g. National Night Out, school programs, etc.)
Some of the benefits of working patrol on a horse include:
Increased visibility from a higher vantage point
Increased visibility by the public
Officers become more approachable by the public as opposed to being in a car or on a motorcycle
- More effective in crowd control situations than officers on the ground
Why a Mounted Enforcement Unit in Newport Beach?
- Newport Beach draws large crowds every day during the summer months and patrolling the beach is difficult in large 4x4 vehicles.
- Horses can maneuver much more easily than vehicles, and they are able to double as crowd control tools.
- Horses can also maneuver across different types of terrain such as sand, concrete, asphalt, stairs, and even the pier without the officer ever having to dismount.
- Horses allow officers to relate to the public of all ages in a non enforcement capacity.
Officer Dugan and Levi
Officer Dugan and Levi have been partners since May 2013.
Officer Dugan’s primary duty is a patrol officer and is a Mounted Officer as a collateral assignment.
Levi is a 12 year old Quarter Horse who stands at approximately 14.2 hands and weighs approximately 1,000 pounds.
Levi’s color is referred to as Sorrel and he has three white socks with a white blaze/snip on his face.
Levi eats primarily alfalfa and orchard hay for his diet. Officer Dugan and Levi train rigorously for an urban environment which consists of many different types of sensory items. Horses are prey animals which means their primary response to danger is to run away. They are also herd bound animals which means they feel safer in large numbers. Officer Dugan and Levi train with sensory items like cars, plastic bags/trash, beach balls, flags, gun fire, fireworks and many other items we would encounter while working in an urban environment.