In response to a reported increase in crime in South Los Angeles, the LAPD is using a technique that has people staring, oohing and ahhing including some of the criminals.

In fact if you live, work or congregate near intersections such as Manchester and Western avenues, don’t be surprised if you hear the clip clop or distinctive snort of horses coming up beside you.

That would be the LAPD mounted unit which has been deployed in South L.A. as part of the department’s crime suppression unit, explained Lt. Rudy Lopez, the officer in charge of this Metro Division program.

Lopez said the mounted units have been in place since 1988 but typically work in areas like Venice, Hollywood and central downtown division. But now due to the violent crime increase in South L.A. you may see them much further south.

When you see the officers on horseback, Lopez said they will most likely patrol Harvard, St. Andrews and other parks as well as the adjoining streets and alleys surrounding the recreational spaces. They are on the look out for narcotic sales and use, as well as public intoxicaton. They also ride in pairs, and in addition to fighting crime, serve as an almost irresistible community ambassador, Lopez said.