OC mounted officers train for riots, crowd control

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The Orange County Regional Mounted Unit trained for several scenarios, including riots and crowd control.

More than 20 officers and their horse partners gathered at Santiago Park in Orange to train for riots and large crowd control on Wednesday.

The Orange County Regional Mounted Unit took part in its monthly training and focused on crowd control in response to recent rallies and protests held during the political season.

"What five horses could do, would take approximately 50 officers to do out on the street," Officer Eric Anderson with the Anaheim Police Department explained.

The regional mounted unit consist of 40 horses and their officers across eight departments.

Sgt. Kanan Blake from the Santa Ana Police Department led the teams through a series of scenarios including keeping a suspect from entering a tight walkway, circling and protecting other officers and what to do if an officer is injured on top of a horse.

"If all the horses are confident and move forward as a team, it makes it a lot easier and they work well together," Blake said.

The major focus on Wednesday's training was on crowd control.

Blake used recent Donald Trump rallies in Costa Mesa and Anaheim as examples of the importance of the unit.

Anderson's horse, Cash, was hit by a rock on his face shield at the Anaheim rally. Anderson said the training helped avoid a bad situation.

"Although it's a stressful situation, lot of noise, lot of activity and he just got hit by a rock, he has the trust to know it's OK to continue to push," Anderson said.

The scenarios and mock protests were designed to assure the horses were ready to not only keep the peace, but protect themselves and their partners on the street.

"We try to make all our training as real as possible, just as if they were deploying,so they wouldn't know the difference between a training day and a deployment day," Officer Gabriel Ricci with the Huntington Beach Police Department said.

Related Topics:
protesthorsesrallyanaheim police departmentpoliceOrangeSanta AnaHuntington BeachAnaheimOrange CountyCosta Mesa
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