The Mounted Enforcement Unit (MEU) is an integral part of Sheriff's Operations offering high profile patrol to the parks, beaches and special events throughout Orange County. Deputies on horseback reemerged some 35 years ago when some enterprising sheriff's deputies commandeered a string of rental horses at Irvine Park to address an unruly crowd that had gathered. The department recognized the effectiveness of this force multiplier and organized an official Mounted Unit. A barn was raised on a five acre section of the James A. Musick Facility, and the Orange County equestrian community responded by donating the first police horses to the Department's new Mounted Unit.
Over the past 35 years, the unit has grown to 18 members; three sergeants and 15 deputies, comprised of regular, reserve, and extra help deputies all working collateral to their normal duty assignments. While they continue to patrol Orange County's parks and beaches, the MEU has also expanded their role to include school education programs to complement the Drug Use is Life Abuse and Character Counts programs, and a Mounted Color Guard which honors our nation's flag at special events, in parades, and at funerals throughout the year.
The Orange County Regional Mounted Enforcement Unit is a cooperative effort between OCSD, Anaheim PD, Buena Park PD, Garden Grove PD and Santa Ana PD. Together, the Regional MEU can field over 60 mounted members to address crowd control needs at high profile events throughout the county, such as the Major League Baseball's World Series and the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup.
In 2005, the old barn was torn down and replaced though the fund raising efforts of the Sheriff's Advisory Council and Sheriff's Reserve Bureau. The new barn is home to the monthly MEU training. The MEU members utilize their personally owned horses during training and on assignments. As the needs of the County and the Department continue to change, the Mounted Enforcement Unit stands ready to meet the growing demand for high profile law enforcement and effective crowd management.
For more information please contact Lieutenant Brian Schmutz at (949) 635-1821.
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