Mounted Patrol Officers Look Out For Shoppers During Holiday Season

Friday, November 23rd 2012, 4:53 pm

Shoppers looking for deals are likely to see more police officers around, looking for people who steal from shoppers in busy places.

But one patrol gets some extra attention.

The clip-clop you hear outside Promenade Mall isn't Santa's team of reindeer, it is two members of the Sheriff's Office mounted patrol, on special duty to watch over people doing their shopping.

They're watching for trouble, but they also spend a lot of time spreading good cheer.

"It's a huge PR deal for them, because inner city kids don't get to see horses like this, and if they won't come to us as deputies on the ground, they'll come up to the horse, come up and talk with us," said Deputy Paula Hite.

Hite and Phil Carman are used to the extra attention. They've done this for several years, now.

The deputies in the mounted patrol have an advantage, it's easier to maneuver a horse in a parking lot and it's easier to see what's going on, because they're sitting up high.

And it's not just an all-day stroll around the parking lots.

"We get to catch a bad guy every now and then," Carman said.

They've even had the occasional pursuit on horseback to catch up with a criminal.

"He'd actually gone into the ladies rooms and snatched a purse and took off and they yelled it out on the radio and I heard it, and caught up with him in a parking lot across the street," Hite said.

But a lot of what they do is answer questions, especially from out of town shoppers like Tracy Kushner, from New Jersey.

"It's a little odd, but goes with the Oklahoma theme and what everyone thinks I'm doing out here with the oil fields and covered wagons," Kushner said.

In addition to what Promenade Mall is doing with the Sheriff's Office, the Tulsa Police Department has its own special patrols covering busy shopping areas and they'll be out until Christmas.

11/23/2012 Related Story: Caught On Video: Mayhem At Tulsa Victoria's Secret On Black Friday


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