Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office announced via Facebook on Sunday that they are researching and experimenting with the possibility of having a horse patrol for the parish.
KATC reached out to a spokesperson for IPSO to ask about things like logistics, funding, and what prompted the trial trot with these horses, but we were told that not enough research has been done for the agency to comment on it just yet.
New Iberia resident Nikki Elliott, who originally posted the video to Facebook that IPSO shared as part of their online announcement, told KATC the deputies she talked to told her they were interested in testing the horse patrol as crimes like car break-ins become more common.
"They explained to us that they were implementing this service to be around the city park area and our neighborhood because we've had an increase of crime over the past few years," Elliott said. "Which I thought was excellent because I grew up in that neighborhood and it's always been very safe, but it's changed."
Neighbor Carroll Duplantis agrees. He told KATC he has lived in New Iberia his whole life and he has noticed more criminal activity.
"They just see what's what in the car and that the car's not locked," Duplantis said. "And they get in and search."
Sgt. Chris Laster is president and chief instructor at Mounted Police Training Academy, Inc. He said that horses are an invaluable tool to any law enforcement agency.
"The horses are very visible, they can see things and go places where motorcycles, bicycles, and cars can't go," Laster said. "You can see into backyards and things just by riding down the street, so I mean, you know, it's great that they are doing that and it is effective."
Laster noted that there have been national studies showing up to a 65 percent reduction in crime where mounted patrols were used on a regular basis.
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