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Cleveland City Council approved legislation to accept the donation of three horses for the city’s Mounted Police unit.
The three horses, worth $67,397, are gifts from an anonymous donor through the Friesian Empire and Equine Center in Westerville, Ohio.
The Mounted Police unit currently has eight horses in its stables on East 38th Street near South Marginal Road.
Cleveland Safety Director Michael McGrath told the Council committee that there are ongoing discussions with the MetroParks to partner its horse patrol unit with the city’s unit. Currently, MetroParks hauls its horses from out of the county to the parks and reservations it operates in Cleveland.
The Safety Director also said there are talks about moving the Mounted Police stables closer to downtown where horse patrols are regularly deployed.
“The Mounted Police unit has always played a significant role in the Cleveland Police Department,” said Councilman Matt Zone, chairman of Council’s Safety Committee. “These three horses will be joining one of the finest units in the country. We are grateful for this anonymous gift.”
The legislation to accept the horses went through the Safety and Finance committees on before the vote by the entire Council.
The Mounted Police unit is one of the oldest in the nation, tracing its history back to the Cleveland Cavalry formed in 1877. The unit marched in President Warren G. Harding’s inaugural parade and in his funeral procession.
At the unit’s peak in 1932, it numbered 85 horses.