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Las Vegas police to disband mounted horse patrol unit

The Metropolitan Police Department will cut its mounted patrol unit next month to “soften the blow” of expected budget shortfalls, the department said Monday.

Tax revenue in Clark County and the state are expected to fall to historic lows after the coronavirus pandemic brought Nevada’s tourism industry, which makes up 40 percent of revenue for the state budget, to a sudden halt.

After May 1, officers in the unit will be assigned to patrol, and Metro’s eight horses will be retired or rehomed, the department said in a release. Three of the mounted patrol unit’s staff were laid off last week after Metro cut 112 part-time positions.

Metro said that the mounted unit helped with crowd control and community outreach, but in the future the department will deploy bicycle officers to patrol crowds on the Strip.

Two officers and two part-time staffers will work until May 1 to transfer one of the horses to its original owner and the others to their new homes.

All employees laid off last week were paid for hours worked through April 17, the department said.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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