Indianapolis Crime and Statistics

The value of highly-visible officers is policing at its finest

It’s the mantra of a lot of organizations and networks that “you can’t measure what we do”. In the case of the IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit, that is likely very true. Current police reporting standards and trends set by Federal law enforcement agencies, and at the local level, report crime measures in two ways:
  1. The crime itself, as measured by the number of homicides, assaults, burglaries, disturbances, and other crimes committed in an area in a specific time, and;
  2. The response to that crime, as measured by the number of arrests, citations, and cases solved or closed. To some extent, successful prosecution and jail capacity is also included here.
The Mounted Units do not arrest suspects because they never leave the saddle. Instead, other officers will be called in to arrest a suspect while the mounted units detain them.
IMPD Mounted Officers

Mounted Patrol Officers near Riley Towers Downtown

All current research into successful police practices, community policing, and being more proactive against crime instead of reactive comes from being seen and approachable on a street, along a trail, in a park, in a building, and on a corner. Officers in cruisers are often unseen except for their squad car. Indianapolis Metro Police leadership and the IMPD Horse Patrol Association believes having officers like the Mounted Unit walking down a residential street, standing at a busy Downtown intersection, and patrolling along the Monon and other greenways is one of the best, most undervalued police practices IMPD can do today.

Every visit to a school or community event, every interaction with a child on a street, every conversation with young men and women in a neighborhood, and every approach made by and to residents is policing at its finest.

Sgt. Allan Whitesell of the IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit recalls a time patrolling near the Monon in Broad Ripple. “We were approached by a young boy who was seeing his first interaction with the police that wasn’t associated with a negative event, like a crime or TV show. Here we were, on our horses, and able to speak with him like people.” In 2015, the IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit clocked 831.5 hours of riding time, which does not include time spent caring for horses, washing trucks, and maintenance.

The Mounted Patrol Unit worked 7 officer memorial or funeral events, 4 protests, 42 community and school events, 74 events like the Circle City Classic, Black Expo, Indy 500 and others), and were on the streets 253 days of the year. In addition, the unit patrols Downtown and in other areas of Indianapolis daily.
IMPD Mounted Patrol Services Chart

IMPD Mounted Patrol Services Chart [Click to Enlarge]

The IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit is increasing its patrols Downtown, along the Monon and other greenways, at Colts games, and many other large events, such as the Circle City Classic throughout 2016 and 2017.