Kansas City to disband mounted patrol unit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City’s popular mounted patrol units are being reassigned.

Police Chief Rick Smith announced Tuesday that he is reassigning the officers in the unit to allow eight more detectives to be assigned to the homicide unit. Smith cited the city’s high homicide and violent crimes rates for prompting the decision.

The Kansas City Star reports the department is trying to fill 42 vacant police officer positions. The department allocated about $649,000 for the mounted patrol unit in this year’s budget.

The mounted patrol unit was used for crowd control during large outdoor events, to patrol districts such as Westport and the Country Club Plaza and visited neighborhoods as part of community engagement.

The horses, which are donated, will be returned to their owners, if possible.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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