NOPD horses mount up for Carnival season

NOPD horses mount up for Carnival season

Out of the many sights to see during Carnival season, one that seems to draw much attention is the NOPD Mounted Division.

On Tuesday, officers started training for the horses to be comfortable around big crowds, loud noises, and floats.

The big, tall horses that probably have some of the best views of the carnival revelry serve a very important purpose with their natural ability.  Officers use them to deter and stop criminal activity. 
"We can probably see two or three blocks down the route as opposed to (an officer) on foot who can only see someone in front of him," said David Waguespack, head trainer for the NOPD Mounted Division. "With a policeman on a horse it makes it so much easier for...the police department to handle a crowd. It takes about one policeman on a horse to do the work of about 10 to 12 policeman on foot."

But getting the horses ready to handle the intensity of a parade doesn't quite happen overnight.

The NOPD takes to two to three days to desensitize horses from things that would normally set them off along a parade route.

The NOPD Mounted Division expects to have about 25 horses on Bourbon Street and along parade routes every day during the whole Carnival season.

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