Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a graduation ceremony to induct 10 new members into the New York City Police Department’s elite Mounted Unit.
The sergeant and nine officers will be on duty with their horses tomorrow, including tours in Times Square. Together they have 93 years of police experience, particularly in patrol, the Mounted Unit’s primary function.
“The men, women – and horses – of the NYPD Mounted Unit are the Department’s ambassadors to the City, facilitating traffic, visitors and events of every stripe,” Police Commissioner Kelly said. “These highly specialized officers cover an enormous amount of complex, urban terrain, and they play a tremendous role in deterring crime with their stately presence.”
Selected police applicants who demonstrate the necessary physical ability to manage a horse are accepted into the NYPD Remount School of Horsemanship, where they undergo rigorous training for three months to further refine their riding skills and learn appropriate horse handling.
Upon graduating, new Mounted officers are assigned to patrol throughout the five boroughs. The horses are stabled in five locations including the Mounted Unit citywide headquarters at Pier 76 on Manhattan’s West Side. The new stables and base at this location were opened last March and feature, among other facilities, a covered, heated ring in which handlers can condition their horses even in inclement weather.
There are 112 uniformed officers and supervisors and approximately 80 horses in the NYPD Mounted Unit, which was established in 1871. A video podcast about the unit can be seen online here in the Press Room Video Library-- scroll to Episode 5 of Inside the NYPD .
Photos: (Image 1 ) New members of the NYPD Mounted Unit assemble at the unit’s headquarters at Pier 76, Manhattan. (Image 2 ) Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly stands with new Mounted Unit police officers Vincent Fontana and horse Coughlin, left; and Kevin Rooney, with horse Vitali, right. NYPD Photo Unit