Milwaukee Police prepares its mounted unit, regional teams for RNC

More than a dozen officer-horse teams from departments across the region trained for any scenario
MPD Mounted Police RNC Training.jpeg
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jan 09, 2024

MILWAUKEE — Large-scale events, like this summer’s Republican National Convention, need all hands on deck.

One group getting ready is our region’s mounted police.

For horses like Charlie, they can have a lot on their plate as they get prepare.

Charlie works with Milwaukee Police Officer Esteban Arreguin.

For seven years, they've spent nearly every day together.

“They’re our work partners. We take care of them because they take care of us when we're out there,” said Arreguin.

He says without that connection, his job would be impossible.

“The only way I can do that is if I have a solid bond with my horse. I have to be able to surgically move my horse through a crowd, not step on anyone. I need him to have his wits together,” said Arreguin.

They are just two of the more than a dozen officer-horse teams from departments across the region who started their week training for the Republican National Convention, as part of the mounted police.

Milwaukee Police invited members of State Fair Patrol, Madison PD and UW Police to the city's MKE Urban Stables, where they got hands-on practice with the horses that will be on the frontlines for crowd control and security.

“We’re going to be setting up various obstacles, fireworks, actual fire, trying to de-spook our horses and get them used to those loud elements that might arise when we're out in the field,” said Sgt. Neil Verburgt, Milwaukee Police Department.

Plans over the course of the training include mock scenarios and team-building exercises to get everyone, officers and equines alike, on the same page.

“There's no tomorrow, it's coming up. So, we need to get together as one solid unit with our in-state partners so we can work cohesively because we're going to need to work cohesively out in the field at the RNC,” said Sgt. Verburgt.

Officer Arreguin says on top of the tactical training, they want to focus on their strengths and work on their weaknesses.

“We need to prepare like it's just going to go bad and it's going to be out of control. I really hope that's not the case. But we're going to be prepared and that's what this is all for, is preparation, and it does take time,” said Arreguin.