Tuesday, Detroit Police Chief James E. Craig announced the sponsorship of the Detroit Police Department’s Mounted Unit by Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3). The company has made a three-year commitment through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation to help support the department’s Mounted Unit.
S3’s support includes funding for the cost of veterinary bills, horseshoeing, hay, wood shavings, grooming, feeding, cleaning, repairs, and replacement of equipment. The funding will also provide for the addition of one or two horses in the upcoming years.
“Animals hold a special place in our hearts at S3,” said President and CEO Cindy Pasky. “It’s one of the areas on which we focus our charitable giving, but beyond that, the Detroit Mounted Police are integral to creating safe places throughout our city. From seeing them interact with people at the Eastern Market on weekends to patrolling downtown, they do so much to increase the safety of our downtown and neighborhoods, all while making lasting connections with children and adults wherever they go.”
Though the Detroit Police Department’s Mounted Unit is largely used for crowd control, it also plays an important role in building relationships with the community. The added height and visibility of the horses makes it easier for citizens to seek assistance from the officers.
Detroiters are also able to pet the horses and ask officers questions. These interactions help people to see officers in a different light, while building trust and breaking barriers between the public and the police.
“We are grateful and humbled by the generosity of Strategic Staffing Solutions; their commitment will ensure that the Detroit Police Mounted Unit will continue to provide for safer community events and sustain a honored tradition in our city,” said Chief James E. Craig. “It is public and private partnerships such as this that are vital to the service we provide to our citizens.”
The Mounted Unit was established in 1893. At its highest capacity, it included 80 officers and 60 horses. From 2005 to 2009, the unit was briefly disbanded. Today, the unit employs five police officers, one civilian, and one sergeant. There are currently five horses in the Mounted Unit with a sixth horse currently being trained. It’s supported through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.
Sergeant Douglas Muston of the Detroit Mounted Unit says he is grateful to be able to carry on this long and proud tradition with the men and women in his unit.
“Until you’ve experienced it, you cannot appreciate the average day on horseback in our great city. People love to see and interact with our horses, not to mention the feeling of safety Mounted Officers provide. Cindy and our friends at S3 make it possible for us to continue doing the job we love,” said Sergeant Muston.