IMPD Mounted Patrol needs nearly $1 million to build new facility
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The seven horses of the IMPD Mounted Patrol need a new barn that will cost about $2 million dollars and the department says they need that money by the end of the year.
Sgt. Tyneka Sperry of the IMPD Mounted Patrol said, “We have until the end of the year to come up with the money and break ground and we’re doing okay. We still have a couple of months left and we are optimistic, but as long as we’ve broken ground and are moving forward we should be able to stay where we are at while it’s being built.”
Sperry says the city sold the land where the mounted patrol currently resides but the new owners are allowing them to use 22 acres to build the new facility.
“A lot of people think we just need a horse barn but what they don’t realize it’s actually a community center and the offices and facilities for the officers,” said Sperry. “We come in every morning and give horses baths, clean stalls and are in dirty clothes. Right now we don’t have a way to get cleaned up before we go in, so this new facility will give us all of those things as well as heated wash racks and things for our horses that they don’t have now.”
H&H stables says helping these horses get into a better facility was an issue close to their hearts because they care for dozens of horses each day.
Chad Hughes, the managing member of H&H stables said, “We felt it’s very important to give back to the community. The community has always been very good to us. We have a lot of tradition out here at wild air farms.”
Hughes anticipates donating around $10,000, helping to further chip away at the remaining nearly $1 million budget gap.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said, “I think they’re great ambassadors for the city. Obviously, they’re very friendly, they’re very approachable. We know the kids like them and we love that visitors and residents of Indianapolis get a chance to come downtown and to see them.”
“Horses break down barriers,” said Sperry. “A lot of times you might see a police officer and you’re not comfortable starting a conversation with them but when you have a horse with you people will come up to pet your horse and that gives us the opportunity to have those conversations that we need to have.”
Sperry said the department has $600,000 in the bank and another $500,000 pledged from outside groups. She and the Chief were optimistic the department would reach its goal by the end of the year.