A note of thanks,
The 2014 riding season has been filled with some amazing moments thanks to our riders and their mounts but has also seen some unprecedented challenges. I would like to share with everyone some of these experiences while extending my sincere appreciation for all those that continue to support us.
While most visible at numerous appearances and demonstrations, the unit has also put in some serious police work. In July, a two day search for a missing Alzheimer's patient resulted in his safe return home after a Mounted Patrol unit located him in an area of dense vegetation visible only from horseback. A few weeks later, while patrolling the Central Entertainment District during the late night hours, a rider was flagged down by a woman who was threatened by another with a handgun. Our Mounted Units were the first to respond and locate the suspect. They not only prevented her escape but also held back a large hostile crowd while officer's fought to take the subject into custody. While the unit is most recognized for the public relations role they play for the organization it is also important to understand the role they play in more traditional police work as well.
Sadly we have also had to face two significant medical events with two of our horses. In March, Police Horse Jack lost his battle after a brief illness despite the best efforts of all involved. Just within the past week our newest horse, Torres required emergency surgery and will need the rest of the riding season to recover. Fortunately his prognosis for a full recovery is good and we are optimistic for his return.
These challenges highlight the importance of those that donate their time, money and energy to support our unit and mission. Our Department budget provides for the boarding, feeding and basic care of the horses. Emergency medical costs, equipment needs and even the trading cards that the riders hand out require a different funding source. Without our nonprofit www.madisonmounted.org we would not have been able to provide the medical care necessary to keep our unit healthy and strong.
These recent challenges have given me this opportunity to publicly thank all those that have supported our unit. I would like to specifically thank Dr Howard Ketover and his staff at Irongate Equine clinic as well as the staff at the UW Veterinary Hospital for all they have done for our horses. The women and men that comprise our nonprofit "Friends of Madison Mounted Horse Patrol" also deserve special thanks for their efforts to raise money to keep our unit operational and cover these emergency costs.
As the Supervisor of the Mounted Patrol Unit I want to publicly thank all of you who make it possible to continue to put such and outstanding Mounted Patrol Unit out on the streets of Madison.
Sergeant of Police
Madison Mounted Patrol Unit Supervisor