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Why mounted officers don't always pick up horse poop

Last Updated Sep 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm PDT

A VPD Mounted Unit officer picking up horse manure around Granville and West Georgia Streets. (Courtesy Vancouver Police Department)

Officers are equipped with shovels, but say it's not always safe to pick it up

Issue was raised at recent Police Board meeting after an official complaint was filed

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a stinky problem that some people in Vancouver are offended by. We’re talking about horse poop being left behind, in some cases, by the VPD’s Mounted Unit.

The issue came up at this week’s Police Board meeting after someone filed an official complaint when they claimed to have found piles of poop on some trails in Stanley Park. At the meeting, it was decided members will be reminded that they’re expected to pick it up.

Of course, there are exceptions. “Unfortunately, with the nature of our policing duties, whether they are looking for offenders, they’re arresting somebody or they’re patrolling the streets — it’s just not feasible for our officers to get off their horses and clean up after the horse,” explains Staff Sergeant Randy Fincham.

Officers are equipped with shovels, but as Fincham stresses it’s not always safe to pick it up especially when members are patrolling busy areas like the downtown core or West End. “If they do not have the opportunity to clean up after the horses then we do have an agreement with the city that we can notify city staff who will come and help out. If possible, our members will return to clean up manure if it is left on the streets.

Or, he adds — because it’s a regular issue — then anyone who sees it can call city crews at 311 and someone will be dispatched.