CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Mounted patrol units from the Columbus Police Department will join Cincinnati forces for the All-Star Game.
Mayor John Cranley and Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell made the announcement Friday morning shortly after the doors of Duke Energy Center opened for the first day of FanFest. 200,000 people are expected to flood downtown for the festivities, which last Friday through Tuesday.
"We all know that horses have a vantage point a lot higher than anyone else and they'll be able to see over crowds and be seen as well to enhance the safety," said Blackwell.
Blackwell said the decision to use mounted units had been in the works for months and has nothing to do with the violent unrest on Fountain Square last weekend.
The Cincinnati Police Department is in the process of initiating their own permanent mounted unit. The process will reportedly take three to four months.
According to Blackwell, the city budget is prepared to absorb the annual operating costs of a mounted unit. The Cincinnati Police Foundation will help raise money for the startup costs - the most expensive part of the process.
The horses will patrol more than just The Banks and other popular entertainment areas, Blackwell said. The department plans to utilize the mounted officers as much as possible in Cincinnati neighborhoods.
The city eliminate the mounted patrol unit several years ago due to budget cuts.