Sgt. Stéphanie Labre and Officer Jonathan Hatfield of the Québec Sûreté’s (SQ) mounted patrol division spent their Wednesday (April 8) in Grenville, with their mounts, Mekinak and Sartigan.
“We’re just going around for prevention,” said Officer Hatfield, about the duo’s presence. “¨People enjoy the fact that we’re here and this helps bring us closer to the people.”
The two SQ officers manned the temporary blockade at the Grenville end of the Long Sault Bridge and enforced the Québec government’s strict ban on “non-essential travel” within the province. They stopped vehicles coming off of the bridge from Hawkesbury in Ontario, asked drivers about their reasons for coming to Québec, and turned back those who were coming to the province for pleasure trips or other non-essential reasons.
The mounted SQ patrol later made an afternoon circuit of the village before heading to the community centre parking lot on Tri-Jean Street to rest, feed, and water their horses and then load them into a horse trailer for the trip back to the SQ stables.
The SQ maintains an eight-member mounted patrol for spring and summer community duty in various regions of the province. The Canadian breed of horse is used for the mounted patrol, and its officers and mounts are always a popular subject for tourism photos and also with children, though the police are careful not to let strangers approach too close to the horses as a safety precaution.