INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IMPD is adding two horses to its Mounted Patrol Unit, thanks to a donation from the Indianapolis mother-daughter duo who star in HGTV’s home improvement show “Good Bones.”
Karen E Laine and her daughter Mina Hawk run a home renovation business called “Two Chicks and a Hammer”; the show follows their renovation projects around Indianapolis.
IMPD Deputy Chief Josh Barker said members of the Mounted Patrol Unit first met while the duo while “patrolling through a neighborhood on horseback with Mayor Hogsett, and they came across one of the projects that Two Chicks and a Hammer were working on on the near south side.”
“I mean, at the beginning, it was a very playful conversation because we said ‘What do we need to do to get out there? We want to come to the stables.’ And he said, ‘Buy us a couple horses; you can come whenever you want,” said Hawk.
That surprise run-in resulted in the addition of horses Axel and Abel.
“I grew up riding and I think once you are on a horse, you never want to not have the opportunity to do that again,” said Hawk.
But the donation of the horses came with a catch: that Laine and Hawk could visit the mounted patrol stables whenever they want.
“Right now I smell terrible, and I am completely covered in sweat and I probably have poop on me, and I am so happy,” Hawk said.
The IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit does not receive tax dollars and is solely funded by private donations.
“When you think about the cost of a horse, it’s not just the cost of the horse. It’s boarding them and feeding them and the vet bills,” Barker said Friday.
Police said without the duo’s donation, they’re not sure when the patrol would have been able to replace the horses they lost in 2018.
Colonel, a 26-year-old police horse, was euthanized in June after suffering from pain and old age. Dusty, a 22-year-old horse that had served the unit since 2004, had severe problems in its lower legs and was put down in July. And Jake, a retired police horse that was with the unit for 14 years before being donated to Agape Therapeutic, died in August after a lifelong struggle with cancer.
“I feel like it is a privilege for us, not something that we have done for the city. It feels like the city has done something for us,” said Laine.
While the horses are great entertainment, Indianapolis metropolitan police said having what they call a “10-foot officer” is also a tool for patrols.
“We have a capability where we have officers on horseback with an elevated position to help monitor that crowd, and we did have one instance last night where they were able to do just that and probably intervene before a crowd became unruly,” said Barker.
Both Axel and Abel have already started patrolling. Axel made an appearance at Thursday’s IPL Freedom Festival.
Laine and Hawk say one of their next projects will be helping to fix up the mounted patrol’s stables.