December 7, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

On The Saddle With LAPD’s Mounted Unit In Venice

You can hear their hooves echo down Speedway on a busy day in Venice; it is a rhythmic clop-de-clop announcing to all that the LAPD Mounted Unit is out in force.

“Venice is a very unique place, you see a lot of different things and we add to that bringing the horses to a beach environment, so as weird as everyone thinks Venice is, the weirdness of bringing horses to Venice just adds to what a great place it is,” says LAPD officer Eric Coffey.

Coffey was joined by Sergeant Brian Heaney, Officer Thomas Willers, and two LAPD horses on June 4 – the last day of school at Westminster Elementary on Abbot Kinney Blvd., and the kids flocked to the school’s outdoor cafeteria for a special treat.
The crowd squeals as Coffey demonstrates how the horses are trained to not be afraid of walking right up to a person, even pushing into them if they have to.

He wows the crowd with tips on basic horsemanship and police work, even explaining that when the Mounted Unit arrests someone they do not throw them up over the back of the horse but call a patrol car to pick the person up.

“If we threw people over the back of the horse people would want to get arrested,” he says.

After the talk the kids line up for a chance to pet the horses, excitement taking over, the line is broken and a mob soon crowds around the animals.

Coffey explains that school visits like this are actually great for training.

“The horse realizes that with all this noise and all of the crowd that he’s getting pet on, and it’s actually a good thing,” he says. “It’s good for them to see little kids up close to them petting them.”

School principal Barry Cohen says there are many positives for interaction between the students and local police.

“The Mounted Unit are such a big part of the Venice community, it’s important for the kids to see them as friends, someone they can go to when they’re in trouble, when they’re in need, so I think it’s really important that they connect with our students,” Cohen says.

Coffey says the Mounted Unit receives plenty of attention when they are out on the job.

“A lot of people don’t like to approach police officers in cars but of course they want to approach a horse and ask about the horse and talk about the horse,” Coffey says. “So it’s a very different, positive interaction with the public with regards to community relationships.”

However, school visits and community outreach are just one aspect of the work done by the LAPD Mounted Unit.

“We’re assigned to the Metropolitan Division, which is a city wide unit so we go wherever we are told to go in regards to spikes in crime,” Coffey says. “Any spike in crime that happens in this city is mapped out and they send us in that direction. So right now, and for the past month or so, we’ve been assigned to Venice for a little while with Pacific Division.”

Sergeant Heaney says it does show that there is a reduction in crime when they’re deployed to an area.

“We’re like a workforce multiplier, we can come in and assist with a problem area whether it’s a vagrancy issue, vandalism, or a rise in aggravated assaults,” Heaney says. “We can identify those kinds of problems and assist a division by making the proper arrests and help clean up some of those problems. We give Pacific Division the support they need to help make sure that the community feels a lot more safer.”

Coffey says the Mounted Unit is one of the highest producing units in all of LAPD.

“We go out there and get up and down off these horses may be 20-30 times a day, getting down, arresting people all day long,” Coffey says. “Being so high up we see things at a different level. When we turn a corner we can see all the way down the street whereas a police car is down a lot lower. Police cars can get to somewhere faster than we can but we turn corners and we’re able to look down the street. The reason we’re in Venice Beach right now, it’s a place where lots of visitors go and there’s thousands and thousands of people. We can literally go right through a crowd and see a fight happening or see a person doing something they shouldn’t be on the complete other side of all those people. You name it, we’ve chased people on bikes, we’ve chased people down the beach, and down the sand for fighting with lifeguards.”

Two years ago, Coffey says the Mounted Unit were at the scene when Nathan Louis Campbell drove his car onto the crowded Venice boardwalk, striking pedestrians and killing an Italian woman on her honeymoon.

“We were right there in the action with horses, jumping down and calling for ambulances,” Coffey says. “There were people everywhere. The horses are able to move a crowd whether that be a good thing or a bad thing, whether people are just trying to help but police officers and the Fire Department need the room to get in and out and do things.”

Darrell Preston, Operations Manager at The Venice Whaler on Washington Blvd., says that everyone in Washington Square has noticed a reduction in crime with the increased presence of the Mounted Unit.

“Eric (Coffey) and his crew are a big asset, their presence reduces crime, we’ve seen it,” Preston says. “Overall all the business owners in Washington Square have needed to make less calls to LAPD. Their presence here is a calming thing.”

Related Posts

The Best CBD Gift For Every Occasion

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Thanks to the growing popularity of Hemp CBD, there’s a lot of new and unique CBD products that will make...

Venice Family Clinic Completes Merger with South Bay Family Health Care

November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care, which have together provided more than a century of health care...

New French Restaurant Opens by Beach in Playa del Rey

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana There’s a new French restaurant open in Playa Del Rey according...

Breaking Barriers Through Sport

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Ex-Navy Rescue swimmer and triathlete, Jordan Hunter is changing the statistics of African Americans not knowing how to swim and...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

Pali High Debuts Fall Musical Avenue Q Live on Stage

October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021

Pali high students bring the musical Avenue Q to the stage for a limited time. Video brought to you by...

UCLA awarded $1 Million Dollars Towards Enabling Safer Bike Commutes

October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021

The Civic Bicycle Commuting team along with partners is one of six competitors for the Civic Innovation Challenge backed by...

Carmelo Anthony Will Be Crucial The Lakers’ Title Chase, From The Bench

October 8, 2021

October 8, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers remain the second favorites for the NBA championship in 2022 on the back of their slow...

Barn Owl Nesting Box Program Comes to The Westside.

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

The barn owl nesting box program from Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife is helping these birds create a network of...

Missing Woman Last Seen in Venice Beach

September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021

Jessie Jean-Baptiste last seen Saturday By Sam Catanzaro Police are seeking a missing 25-year-old woman last seen in Venice Beach...

Canstruction Fights Hunger Through Art

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

International hunger relief fundraiser Canstruction makes an appearance at the Westfield Century City mall and we have the highlights. Video...

The Rich History of Prehemptive CBD Creams

September 27, 2021

September 27, 2021

The following is a question and answer with Paul Herve, founder of Prehemptive CBD creams, based on the formulas of a botanical...

Top-Rated Poster Printing Services in Los Angeles

September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021

So you want a piece of promotional artwork that is eye-catching and makes a statement. Maybe you’re a store looking...

Comedian Fuquan Johnson One of 1 of 3 Dead Following Suspected Overdose at Venice Party

September 7, 2021

September 7, 2021

Early Saturday morning incident remains under investigation By Sam Catanzaro Comedian Fuquan Johnson was among one of three people who...

Gambling and Mental Health: Tips For The Casino

August 31, 2021

August 31, 2021

With the advent of online casinos, gambling has become a more popular pastime than ever before. It’s estimated that a...