The Kansas City Mounted Patrol Unit is looking for recruits, and they’re not horsing around.
According to Sergeant Joey Roberts of the Mounted Patrol Division, the unit has an immediate need for at least two horses, and a third in the intermediate future. Much like the United States Marine Corps, however, not every candidate is selected. An arduous selection and training process follows the contract signing.
“Our horses have to pass some of the most rigorous testing in order to be deployed in the field,” said Roberts, who was currently en route back to Grinnell, Iowa with Stallone, a Percheron that didn’t pass the stringent veterinarian testing required for duty animals.
“This guy was perfect in demeanor, in personality, everything, just phenomenal; he just had a bone chip that may have prohibited him from performing at 100% out in the field,” Roberts continued. “We can’t have a horse that’s not 100%. That puts everyone at risk: the animal, the officer and the public.”
Typically it takes up to two years for duty horses to settle into the rotation and be comfortable in any situation an officer is faced with, from fireworks to large, noisy crowds.
Upon completion of the 90-day training, horses can expect an on-duty lifespan of anywhere between five to fifteen years, in some cases even more. One horse with the department has been part of the patrol for ten years and is expected to fill out a twenty plus year career with the department.
These horses are extremely well cared for with monthly vet visits, chiropractic care and a regiment of dietary supplements and custom diets designed to keep them at peak performance over the lifetime of their career.
Requirements for service with KCPD’s Mounted Patrol are:
– must be geldings between the ages of 4-10 years
– must be 16.2H or taller
– must be drafts/half drafts but will consider most other breeds
– must have riding experience,
– must have a calm demeanor, and be curious/willing to learn.
– must be located within 6 hours of Kansas City, MO.
The Mounted Patrol can purchase horses, but also has a donation program in place where the duty horse is returned to the owner after their tour of duty. Tax deductions are available as well, through the unit’s 501(c)(3) organization.
If you know of a horse that may qualify, contact Kansas City Mounted Patrol at 816-363-1824, or email Sergeant Joey Roberts at: Joey.Roberts@kcpd.org