St. Patrick’s Day celebrations continue after parade, Savannah Police’s Mounted Patrol helps control crowds

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:45 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Around almost every corner, we saw a presence of police officers. What you don’t typically see is their mounted patrol and their main job was to control the crowds.

“Moving the crowds along to get them to go home. If there’s an arrest and the crowd gets hostile, we’ll come in and circle the wagons around the officers doing the arrest. If there’s an emergency situation, ambulance or something needs to come in...we can split that crowd and escort the ambulance or 4-wheeler coming in,” said Savannah Police Scpl. Ann Sosbe.

They have a view that officers on foot might not get to see.

“We’re highly visible as you can tell. We draw crowds wherever we go. We bring a big sense of security. This year, we had four other officers from Mobile, Alabama.”

It’s actually Sergeant Chris Giattina’s first in the Hostess City but he knew what to expect.

“They come down and get to assist us during Mardi Gras. So they invited us to come over and help them during their St. Patrick’s Day festivities because they know our horses are used to crowds and we’re used to dealing with this amount of people.”

Speaking of the amount of people, it was definitely a bigger turnout this year than last year. Savannahians showed out but tourists from all over stopped in too.

“The first time we came, we just wore beads and we saw everyone else was in the spirit so we went out and got outfits. It took us like a month. We have three different changes of outfits,” said Wanda and Phillip Miller.

As one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country – of course, we get some comparison.

“New Orleans a little bit more wilder. This more like family, laid back...good for just walking and meeting people,” said Markus Watson.

The party continues into the weekend for many people. But as far as the parade, some said it finally felt like St. Patrick’s Day again.