Shreveport, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport Police Department has a new plan on how to crack down on crime. You may be surprised to look outside and see a police officer on horseback in your neighborhood, but the new program is kicking off and hitting the streets and neighborhoods.
The new strategy is part of the city's new police Chief Willie Shaw's approach to cut down on crime which establishes a more personal relationship between officers and the community.
This new operation is putting officers in the saddle and on the cycle to help reduce crime in target areas.
"This is community oriented policy at its best," said Captain Don Johnson with the Shreveport Police Department.
Community oriented policing involves getting officers to know the neighborhoods and becoming more familiar with their residents, but the horses and bikes in neighborhoods are something new.
"We want to do new things and different things and we want to get better at what we do. It's a great concept and I think it's going to work well, "said Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw.
According to several residents, the neighborhoods have already witnessed an improvement.
"This is the first time I've seen them on horses, especially in this part of the hood," said Calvin Holden from the Queensborough neighborhood.
"It's not something they see every day. I think it's a really positive thing we're doing," said Corporal Jeremy Edwards.
Corporal Edwards explained that the main advantage of having horses and bikes patrols is maneuvering into areas that cars can't, but according to him, there are other reasons for the mounted patrols.
"Also, you can look at the guys on horses and see their height compared to someone standing. They are ten to 12 feet off the ground."
Neighbors in the Queensborough area said that just having the officers' presence helps no matter what the transportation method is.
"None of that matters, regardless of what they're riding if it's a horse, a bike, a motorcycle, whate ever, it's a good thing, them being in the neighborhood; it helps," said Gerald Oliver, a Queensborough resident.
Shreveport Police said that they plan to send more patrols to areas they find need them the most.