The NOPD’s Mounted Unit has been designated to receive a sizable grant from Hermes-Beyond the Parade (Hermes-BTP) foundation.
The New Orleans Police Department’s Mounted Unit is one of the department’s most iconic divisions. Visible in the historic French Quarter and at such high profile events as Mardi Gras, Super Bowls and many of the city’s numerous music festivals, the horses are an integral part of the NOPD. The Hermes-BTP grant will go toward the department’s newly launched equine breeding program.
“Our goal is to expand the size and the reach of the Mounted Unit so that the horses and officers are able to patrol additional areas on a regular basis,” said Superintendent Michael S. Harrison. “Right now the horses are primarily used to patrol the French Quarter and Central Business District. We hope to continue to develop the division so that the Mounted Unit will be able to become an integral part of patrols in neighborhoods around the city.”
Historically, NOPD acquired their horses from the Angola State Penitentiary (ASP) breeding program, however, that program has been discontinued. ASP’s high quality equines were bred and trained to work in chaotic situations similar to those police officers face, including crowd control.
NOPD tapped into the rich bloodlines from Angola to start its program when the prison announced it was getting out of the horse business in 2016. NOPD decided to keep the connection to Angola going with the acquisition of two pregnant mares – Endy and Allie – and a stud horse in the fall of 2016. Endy gave birth to a colt named Tebo Stardust in March 2017, and Allie delivered a filly named Detroit Lady in April 2017.
The Mounted Unit remains a vital resource in helping deter criminal activity in the City of New Orleans, and NOPD would like to see more horses in more districts. Housed in stables at City Park, the unit currently consists of 24 horses and 11 officers.
The unit is also the beneficiary of the Adopt-A-Horse fundraising program implemented by the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation (NOPJF). The program offers corporations, organizations, and individuals the opportunity to “adopt” one of 12 NOPD police horses now available.
Additional Hermes-BTP grant recipients include: New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Foundation, New Orleans Fire Department and Cornerstone Kids.
The New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation’s grant will be earmarked for the Adopt-A-Block program. Adopt-A-Block, NOPJF’s companion initiative to SafeCam NOLA, is an innovative program designed to help increase the number of private security cameras in crime hot spots throughout the city. NOPJF works with churches, business, homeowners, and the NOPD to install private security cameras.
Hermes-BTP was created as a result of civic efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina. Seeing a gap in support services for area first responders, Hermes-BTP was formed with the intent to address this issue. The organization is primarily supported by the 700+ members of the Hermes Mardi Gras organization.