LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- WDRB's Gina Glaros is LMPD's newest officer this week. She's riding on horseback on this installment of Gina on the Job.
Gina visited LMPD's mounted patrol headquarters, a stable inside Iroquois Park. She is doing the job of Officer Justin Hardy, the head trainer.
It was during their morning grooming that Gina also got a quick lesson in horse behavior.
"You ask, you tell, then you demand," Officer Hardy said.
They finish checking them over.
Then, the round pin helps take the edge off before daily patrol and events.
"We can get to areas that patrol cars can't. We can ride alleys, maybe cut through a yard, when we're in parking lots, we're elevated."
Officer Hardy showed Gina how to get the horses to go where they want them to. The officer's body position and language are crucial. After a pat on the chest and some patience, Cruiser walks in.
"One horse is equivalent to ten officers on the ground," Hardy said. "So, in a crowd situation, if I had two horses and I wanted to move a crowd, those two horses could effectively move a crowd the same as 20 officers."
Saddle and helmet on - check.
Gina got a taste of a 9-week training course. While officers start patrolling on week six, she was doing it at the end of the day.
"You've gotta have some concept of control since we're going out on the street," Hardy said.
Getting on Cruiser was the most difficult and least flattering part.
Officer Hardy trained Gina in reign handling, posture and how a simple kick or squeeze says go. They call it checking in with your horse.
"Let him know that you're the leader," Hardy said. "You are the leader."
With some cone work and even, trotting, Gina was feeling more comfortable.
"Ask him to 'whoah'. Make sure you're looking up," Hardin advised.
From stables to city, it was time to patrol.
Officer Hardy said LMPD first began using horses to patrol in 2000.
Gina and all four officers rode together, used traffic signals like any other car, patrolled the waterfront and checked out a baseball game at Louisville Slugger Field.
Cruiser was a trouper.
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