AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Department of Public Safety unveiled their new mounted patrol unit during a ceremony at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
The unit will be assigned to the Capitol Complex to enhance security and law enforcement capabilities, the department said. Riding on the horses allows troopers to see above a crowd, and they will also be able to maneuver into areas where patrol cars can’t go.
“These expertly trained troopers and horses will enhance the department’s ability to provide a safe environment for all who visit and work at the Capitol,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
Four DPS troopers have trained for about eight months with their horses.
“Now Capitol guests will get a small taste of Texas historic flavor when they see the DPS troopers in the saddle and on patrol,” said Texas Public Safety Commission Chair Cynthia Leon.
The units will train with the Austin Police Department’s horses, which mostly work on Sixth Street.
The DPS horses will patrol throughout the blocks around the Capitol in downtown Austin. Eventually the horses could be used in rescues too.