Mounted troopers patrol apartment complexes in Dover

Two Delaware State Police mounted police officers patrol the Alder Park apartments on Webbs Lane in Dover on Tuesday. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

Two Delaware State Police mounted police officers patrol the Alder Park apartments on Webbs Lane in Dover on Tuesday. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Officers from the Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol Unit have been spotted in recent weeks on horseback in the Alder Park Apartment complex and other areas around Rodney Village.

Master Cpl. Alison Meadows said the area’s residents should not be concerned — the places the troopers patrol are usually chosen at random.
He said the Mounted Patrol Unit serves a two-prong approach for Delaware State Police.

“Alder Park and Rodney Village are among the many neighborhoods we like to visit,” Master Cpl. Meadows said. “It’s a two-pronged approached to getting involved within the community because we get the chance to have face-to-face policing and our presence in the community alone helps to be a deterrent to prevent crime from happening.”

Chris Ott, property manager at Alder Park, said “it’s been great” that the horseback patrol has been hoofing it around the apartment complex and surrounding areas. She said the horses are “intriguing” and command respect from the community.

“We love it. It’s a positive thing,” Ms. Ott said. “Not only is it intriguing for our residents and their children but it helps to create a great rapport between the officers and our residents here. It’s all a positive thing.

“I hope they will continue making appearances in the future. It’s all been positive for our residents.”

Two Delaware State Police mounted officers patrol the Alder Park apartments on Webbs Lane in Dover on Tuesday. (Delaware Sate News/Marc Clery)

State Police mounted officers patrol the Alder Park apartments.

The increased police presence comes in the aftermath of several incidents at the Alder Park Apartments since June. But, according to Master Cpl. Meadows, the occurrences weren’t the impetus for the Mounted Patrol Unit’s presence.

On June 11, police were called to the complex when a woman stabbed another female in the parking lot. On July 18, police responded to a murder/suicide that took place at the apartments complex.

There was a reported armed robbery in the basement of one of the complex’s buildings on July 22 and just two days later, on July 24, a Delaware State trooper and a male suspect exchanged gunfire during a foot chase at the apartments.

“We are not targeting any neighborhood,” said Master Cpl. Meadows, “It’s all a part of having proactive control.”

The mounted patrol units have also patrolled areas in Capitol Park, the Dover Air Park and its surrounding areas and Meadowbrook Acres near Woodside.

They routinely patrol commercial and residential areas in all three counties and help maintain order at large events such as the Firefly Music Festival and the Delaware State Fair.

The State Police Mounted Patrol Unit includes six draft horses and seven officers who are under command of Ms. Meadows, a 20-year veteran of the state police and an accomplished equestrian.

It was Master Cpl. Meadows who approached former state police superintendent Col. Robert M. Coupe in 2011 with the idea of putting troopers on horseback, much like they do in cities such as Philadelphia.

She said horses can go into areas that police cars cannot and the officers are able to interact much easier with people atop their steeds.

Master Cpl. Meadows said it has been a pleasure getting the chance to meet people she sees while on horseback.

“They’ve been very complimentary about our presence,” she said, about the residents of Alder Park. “We’ve received face-to-face compliments and received written compliments that have gone through their appropriate channels.

“All of the correspondence seems to be thankful for the extra police presence.”

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