In what police say is a tactic to increase their presence in downtown Los Angeles, officers mounted on horses will begin regular patrols in early August.
The city's current mounted unit operates on a volunteer basis only, and usually for special events such as Wednesday's Lakers victory parade. "Now they are going to be available all the time," Capt. Gregory Berg said.
Police described the plan to a business crime seminar, organized by Miracle on Broadway, a merchant group dedicated to restoring and making safe the busiest pedestrian street in the county.
Police officials said that, in addition to the coming Los Angeles mounties, they recently increased the number of foot beats in the central bureau during the day from 11 to 13. And, according to Berg, with the aid of a $70,000 grant from the Community Redevelopment Agency, a mobile Police Department "storefront"--actually a converted mobile home--will hit the roads in December to speed the booking of suspects.