The NYPD is saddling up wild American mustangs for its mounted unit — the first time the department has reached out to the prairies for New York’s hooved Finest.
The mustangs, slightly shorter than the draft crossbreeds typically used by the department, are being tapped for service as part of a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Land Management, WNYW reported.
“There’s a big difference between an American mustang and the draft crosses we normally use,” Sgt. Rachel Hammer told the outlet, adding that the animals are more athletic than draft horses, which behooves them to Big Apple streets.
“So that’s a benefit for New York City,” she said.
In an ironic twist, the broncos do time in prison before being shipped to the Big Apple for law enforcement duty — part of a Nevada program that enlists inmates for a process called “gentling” to start preparing them for the unfamiliar bustle of the big city.
The horses then undergo additional training at the NYPD’s stables in the Bronx, where they become accustomed to hoofing it amid the sights and sounds of a busy metropolis.
“It’s paramount to have a horse that is calm, docile, willing to walk through traffic and deal with tourists and crowds and the lights,” Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman, the unit’s commander, told the station.
One mustang, Foley, is already trotting around Manhattan, patrolling Times Square just two years after running wild on public land out west, WNYW said.
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