GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Hundreds of officers are set to patrol the streets on Halloween in downtown Greenville, including the mount patrol for the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.
'It's going to be a long night. It usually is. But it's going to be a fun night. At least for us [it will be]," Pitt County Sheriff's Office's mount patrol director John Teel said.
Teel spent the day preparing his horses before he headed out to patrol the streets of downtown Greenville Thursday night.
"[Students] love to take their picture with the horse, talk to us about the horses," Teel said.
The horses used for the mount patrol have gone through rigorous training.
"We have noise makers and drags with tin cans and bottles and stuff like that. It really helps prepare the horse," he said.
Teel believes there are a lot of benefits to riding a horse.
"We're much more mobile than a vehicle is because we can go between cars, cut through a parking lot whatever needs be, go up alleyways real easy … [plus] sitting up high like we are you know we can see all the way across the parking lot and see if something is going on like a fight or something like that," Teel said.
The horses have been known to break up fights.
"That kinda takes people by surprise to have a horse in their personal space so to speak um pushing them apart. And it usually works pretty good," he said.
Teel said five horses will be patrolling the streets on Halloween. The group will be set up along the outside perimeter of the festivities. They will mostly be keeping watch over parking lots to prevent crime, especially car break-ins.
"We haven't had any one try to run from us yet but that could happen one day. And who knows they may be able to get away from a horse. I know i can't outrun one but they may be able to," Teel said.
The most important thing is to make sure everyone stays safe.