Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 7, 2013

Possible horse patrols in Kokomo examined

Head of mounted division in Indy offers insights

The eight officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Mounted Patrol have started spring training to get ready for their first big event of the calendar year — the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The IMPD Mounted Patrol is also serving as an advisory body of sorts for the Kokomo Police Department’s fledgling horse division, which is set to begin operations this summer.

“We have to go out when the weather gets halfway bearable and work in the round pen, burning off some of their energy,” Kelly said of the spring prep period. “It helps the horse reestablish some respect for you.”

The Indianapolis officers have one big advantage over their Kokomo counterparts, in that all eight officers are permanently assigned to the Mounted Patrol. Each officer is assigned their own horse, and training continues more or less year round, Kelly said.

Of course, Indianapolis is a city of more than 700,000 people, with a police budget to match. That may be why it’s the only city in the state with a full-time mounted patrol division.

During the dead of winter, some of the IMPD Mounted Patrol officers do regular patrols in squad cars, but they still have time to train. That year-round training, which includes work on an obstacle course and extensive work to desensitize the horses, is essential to the effectiveness of the patrol, Kelly said.

“[Part-time patrols] can still be done, as long as you still allot the officers some training time each week, like maybe eight hours a week,” Kelly said. “The horses lose some of their responsiveness if it’s not kept up. They’re not like a motorcycle, where you can hop on anytime and ride off. If you don’t work with them, they get stubborn and have a lack of respect. The next thing you know, someone is getting hurt.”

The Kokomo department is looking to rent horses for the time being, and Kelly said that plan could work as long as the horses get regular training at the stable where they’re kept.

The horses are especially effective for crowd control, allowing officers a high vantage point to spot potential or actual trouble, as well as serving as an effective means of dispersing unruly crowds. As Kelly says, no one wants to be stepped on by a 1,700 pound animal.

Officers are also responsible for cleaning up after their horse if it leaves manure on a public sidewalk or in a public area. If the horse eliminates in the street, the officers leave it for the rain to wash away, Kelly said.

Major Jim Calabro, who is heading up the Kokomo mounted patrol, consulted with Kelly recently but couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mayor Greg Goodnight spoke about the new program earlier in the week.

“We reviewed mounted patrol units in other communities and found them to be an effective resource to support patrol officers,” Goodnight said. “I believe they will be a great asset for increasing the interaction between police and citizens.”

The city is looking for individuals who would be willing to rent a horse or horses for the program. Anyone who would like to have their horses considered for this program is invited to contact Calabro at 456-7269.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters now require license With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

  • Council committee to present dog ordinance draft Aug. 11 Kokomo Common Council committee members will provide a draft of proposed changes to its dog ordinance at its Aug. 11 meeting. The release date for the draft was pushed back following a committee meeting where 25 members of the public aired their conc

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

  • Gary Rhum bringing music lessons to Catholic school Rhum Academy of Music's owner is set to give all students at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School music lessons next year as part of the school's curriculum. When Gary Rhum talks about why he loves to teach kids music, the long-time performer and instru

    July 28, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.