Holiday shoppers are heading to stores in search of the perfect gift to go under the tree. As you shop, there’s a crew of officers protecting you and any valuables left in the car.”We’re out here to serve the community,” said Officer Angela Ball with Louisville Metro Police Department. “A lot of people see us before they decide to maybe make a bad decision.”LMPD’s Mounted Patrol Unit has been around for over a decade. It’s made up of four officers and a sergeant. During the holidays, they head to shopping centers and malls to keep an eye out on the parking lots in hopes of preventing break-ins and thefts.The mounted patrol unit says one officer on horseback is the same as 10 on foot so they’re able to be a lot more effective.Shopping safety: Louisville region shoppers, law enforcement share tips to stay safe during holidays”When we’re out and about, we can see things that you normally wouldn’t see in a patrol car,” said Officer Justin Hardy.”We can see all the way across the parking lot. When you’re driving through there in a car, you can’t. It’s definitely an aspect to keep people more safe over the holidays,” Ball said.Buying local: New and improved website making it easier to shop local during holidays in LouisvilleRecently, the patrol was recognized for their efforts during the National Mounted Patrol Colloquium. They left the competition with five trophies and six ribbons. They say the work is about more than recognition. They’re building connections too.”We’ve had people come up to us who have never seen a horse in their life, and they just want to pet him and talk to us. That allows us to figure out something else they needed from the police, and I think in turn over time it creates a better relationship,” Hardy said.

Holiday shoppers are heading to stores in search of the perfect gift to go under the tree. As you shop, there’s a crew of officers protecting you and any valuables left in the car.

“We’re out here to serve the community,” said Officer Angela Ball with Louisville Metro Police Department. “A lot of people see us before they decide to maybe make a bad decision.”

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LMPD’s Mounted Patrol Unit has been around for over a decade. It’s made up of four officers and a sergeant. During the holidays, they head to shopping centers and malls to keep an eye out on the parking lots in hopes of preventing break-ins and thefts.

The mounted patrol unit says one officer on horseback is the same as 10 on foot so they’re able to be a lot more effective.

Shopping safety: Louisville region shoppers, law enforcement share tips to stay safe during holidays

“When we’re out and about, we can see things that you normally wouldn’t see in a patrol car,” said Officer Justin Hardy.

“We can see all the way across the parking lot. When you’re driving through there in a car, you can’t. It’s definitely an aspect to keep people more safe over the holidays,” Ball said.

Buying local: New and improved website making it easier to shop local during holidays in Louisville

Recently, the patrol was recognized for their efforts during the National Mounted Patrol Colloquium. They left the competition with five trophies and six ribbons. They say the work is about more than recognition. They’re building connections too.

“We’ve had people come up to us who have never seen a horse in their life, and they just want to pet him and talk to us. That allows us to figure out something else they needed from the police, and I think in turn over time it creates a better relationship,” Hardy said.

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