ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- The Anaheim Police Department is testing out a full-time pilot program in which officers will patrol on horseback.
The Mounted Enforcement Unit has been an auxiliary part of the department since 1995. However, they launched it full-time this month.
Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Jon McClintock said officers are patrolling neighborhoods like Peralta Hills on horseback. McClintock said the aim is to address residential burglaries, like in Anaheim Hills.
Officers on horseback will have access to areas that police vehicles or officers on bicycle can't get through, McClintock said.
According to data from California's Department of Justice, the number of burglaries reported in Anaheim last year was the highest since 2007. But the number of reported residential burglaries in the city has been dropping for the last 20 years.
Officer Patrick Bradley with the Mounted Unit said those numbers will continue to go down by providing extra protection in areas that could be used to these types of crimes.
"Whether it's reducing crime by patrolling these trails and preventing burglaries, or people using these trails to do criminal activity, the horses are perfect for that," Bradley said.
Also, the horses can be spotted patrolling Anaheim's entertainment district and at special events.
Bradley said the Mounted Unit makes officers more approachable.
"The horse really breaks the barrier. People just love the horses," Bradley said. "They come up to us all the time. They want a photo. They want to pet the horse, and through that then they start talking to us about things going on in their community."
Bradley said that benefits the agency and the community.
The Anaheim Police Department's full-time Mounted Unit pilot program will run through next month. Depending on its success, it could be expanded.