UAE - Dubai residents are being offered the opportunity to be a Dubai Police volunteer and patrol the city’s streets on trained horses. The campaign that began in 2021 has seen thousands of volunteers sign up with many having to wait months for a chance. It runs every week from September through to the end of June and covers various areas of the city.
Khaleej Times joined one session of the patrolling with the volunteers along with Captain Hamad Rahma Al Shamsi, Sergeant Saif Yusuf Muhammad and assisted by First Corporal Abdul Majeed Abdul Rahman. Each volunteer was given a flashing LED light for visibili-ty and rode all the way from Coca Cola Arena to Citywalk and back, ensuring the safety and security of the surroundings.
While some residents were reminded to put their masks on properly, others were asked to maintain social distancing. The police officers often stop for selfies and photos with children.Sarah Collins, who volunteered for the first time last week, was impressed with the way the police interacted with the public.
“We were just riding down the street and everyone knew him,” she chuckled, pointing to the police officer. “Everyone kept calling him and greeting him. They are not just saying hello, they were having a conversation with him. It was such a cool thing to see how friendly the police are with the public that they were comfortable enough to call out to him and talk to him.
“I think it is important for the po-lice to have that kind of relationship with the community, because if people fear the police or don’t trust them, they won’t go to the police for help,” she added.
The high-school teacher also de-tailed her previous patrolling experience. “Last week we patrolled around the Dubai Mall area,” she said.
“It was such a wonderful experience. People were stopping us, taking photos and then asking us how they could get an opportunity to do this. We rode around Dubai Mall, went down to the fountain area and then down the street to make sure everything was OK,” she said.
Sarah, who was born and raised in New Zealand on a farm, has been missing the animal touch since she moved to Dubai four years ago and finds this experience of volunteering rewarding. She had a quiet moment with her horse before setting off.The horses brought on for the assignment have spent almost their entire lives being trained by the po-lice force.
Red Streak, New Caprice, Sijaam and Saglawi were the horses involved in the patrol. The hors-es, whose ages ranged from 17 to 19 years, have been trained to recognise fire and water, and stop when they sense danger. They are also attuned to tolerate loud music when they are in public parades and events.
Another volunteer, Mudassar, who hails from Pakistan, has been working as a horse trainer for over 15 years in Dubai. “When I saw Dubai Police patrolling with volunteers on horses, I knew I had to get on it,” he said.
“So, I contacted them and filled out a form. Eventually they called me on a patrol in the Al Khawaneej area that lasted around one and a half hours. It was a great experience, and I felt like I was contributing something to society.”
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