Operations Division

Equestrian Team

The Equestrian Unit was formed in 1984 with only two members. The Equestrian Unit has since grown to eleven members. To be a member of the Equestrian Unit is a large commitment to each Police Officer. Each officer must purchase and maintain their own horse and some equipment. Each year, the Equestrian Unit works over 100 various assignments providing a valuable service to the community. The assignments consist of: Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Fourth of July Celebration, International Festival, Concerts in the Park, Park and River Patrol, and parking lot security at the major shopping centers during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The Equestrian Unit also assists Chico Police during their annual Halloween celebration. Equestrian Team
During the Christmas shopping season, use of the Equestrian Unit has caused the burglary rate at the Vintage Faire Mall to drop about 25%. This is directly related to the high visibility and enforcement actions taken by the Equestrian Unit. The Equestrian Unit itself made several arrests for vehicle burglary and other theft-related crimes, offering a sense of security to the customer.

A Team Ahead:

The Equestrian Unit is a highly recognized and respected unit throughout California. The Equestrian Unit is often called upon by other agencies wishing to start Equestrian Unit for guidance and demonstrations. The Equestrian Unit also does demonstrations at schools and other community functions throughout the year. Presently, the City supplies all equipment on the horses, except for the saddle. Each officer is responsible for providing the horse, saddle, and normally the necessary vehicles for the assignment. They are also responsible for some of the necessary upkeep for the horses such as feed, veterinary maintenance, and shoes.

A personal thanks for your continued support of our Equestrian Unit. Each member spends countless hours working with their equestrian partner to make sure they are ready for duty.

The following members give their thanks for your support:

Equestrian Team
  • Sergeant Mitch Paine & equestrian partner "Tiego"
  • Officer Matt Ponce & equestrian partner "Easy"
  • Officer Joe Pimentel & equestrian partner "Bailey"
  • Officer Tony Scopesi & equestrian partner "Deuce"
  • Officer Mark Weiglein & equestrian partner "Dakota"
  • Officer Dave Switzer & equestrian partner "Samson"
  • Officer John Sanchez & equestrian partner "Witchita"
  • Officer Lance Nicolai & equestrian partner "Chance"
  • Reserve Sergeant Tim Helton & equestrian partner "Skido"
  • Reserve Officer Steve Silva & equestrian partner "Lucky"

For further information on the Equestrian Team, contact Sergeant Tim Helton.