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KCPD in need more horses for Mounted Patrol

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are asking for the public's help to find new horses to become part of the department's Mounted Patrol.

Police say the animals help make officers more visible and effective, particularly in a large crowd.

A police horse can weigh up to 1,800 pounds and when people see an animal that massive coming near them, their natural reaction is to move back.

That's what makes a mounted patrol effective, particularly in crowd control.

You may remember the Mounted Patrol was deployed when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Kansas City for a rally in 2016.

Police separated Trump supporters from opponents, and officers actually cited a protester for hitting a police horse.

This incident is an example of why police say they need to find animals of the right size and temperament for what can be dangerous work.

"We train them to be brave," said Sgt. Joey Roberts of the mounted patrol section. "Life experience is everything. It takes a couple of years for these guys to get the life experience of seeing the Plaza, Westport and parades and loud sounds. It's stuff they don’t normally see out in the pasture."

A not for profit group, the Friends of the KC Mounted Patrol, helps buy horses for police. The department doesn't budget any money for horses or their gear; it all must be donated for the unit to continue.

Police are hopeful that they can buy a draft or draft cross horse that's between six and nine years old for about $6,000. It then may take years of training before the animal is fully accustomed to the sights and sounds of a busy city.

You can help the Mounted Patrol by making a donation here.

FOX 4 met up with Sgt. Roberts last summer to learn more about the Mounted Patrol. Watch the video below: