Group working to save Portland mounted police division - KPTV - FOX 12

Group working to save Portland mounted police division

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A non-profit is pulling out all the stops to save Portland’s mounted patrol horse unit which is yet again on the chopping block in the new city budget.

The group Friends of the Mounted Patrol is mobilizing supporters and has a petition going with over 1,500 signatures to save the unit.

The organization says they have worked to save the agency in several previous city budget cycles. Current recommendations for the city budget would eliminate funding for the mounted patrol.

FOX 12 spoke with Robert Ball, who is president of the group. He has been a volunteer reserve police officer for 21 years and that he's never seen more need for the mounted patrol unit than now.

"They really put a gentle face on the Portland Police Bureau, and I can’t think of a time in the last 20 years when the relationship between the community and the police has been more strained, frankly," Ball said. "The police need to be able to talk to citizens, and nothing is an icebreaker like a mounted patrol and the horses."

Mayor Ted Wheeler will have the final say on the Portland city budget, which is due April 27.

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