By Ann L. Moore
The Beachcomber, Thursday, July 9, 1981
(Photo by Brendan DuBois)
HAMPTON - The mounted police patrol started operation at the beach over the Fourth of July weekend.
At a cost of about $1,200 to $1,400 each, the four Tennessee Walking horses are paid for, according to Deputy Police Chief Thomas Krajewski.
Donated funds from local businesses, clubs, and individuals financed the organization of the patrol and purchase of the Four horses, Scout, Magic, Rasta and Billy Lee.
Started with the blessings of Police Chief Robert Mark, work on the patrol was done by Sergeant Dennis Pelletier after approval was granted by selectmen.
"The horses worked out very well over the weekend,"Deputy Chief Krajewski said Monday. "They were on the boulevard and on the sand. Because of the rain they varied the shifts."
Krajewski said the men of the patrol, Pelletier, Neal Socha, Larry Hamer and John Galvin, and the horses, will have Mondays and Tuesdays off. "Those are the quietest days at the beach," Krajewski said.
At the time the mounted unit's formation was announced, Chief Mark said the horses would be another arm of regular police patrol work, like the cruisers, motorcycles and foot patrols.
No additional taxes, Sgt. Pelletier said, would be needed for the patrol, if the donations reached the $20,000 level. That goal has been reached, the deputy police chief confirmed. Additional donations will go into a fund to pay for medical treatment should a horse need it, and to begin the financing of next year's patrol cost, Pelletier said.
Officers on the patrol train and work the horses without extra pay. They financed their own riding lessons, Pelletier said. The four mounted police officers get no special pay or allowances for being in the mounted patrol unit, Chief Mark said. The men and horses are worked on a regular shift basis.
The horses, Pelletier said,should be able to work starting in early spring, through late autumn, depending on weather and snow. An eight month use is not unreasonable to expect, Pelletier said, if the weather cooperates.
The horses have received extensive training workouts with sirens blaring, Frisbies flying and horns tooting, Deputy Chief Krajewski said. "They came through it well, the noise didn't faze them," Krajewski said of the horses.
There are three black and one chestnut color horses in the patrol. Krajewski gave the following identifying marks for each horse. Scout is a black with white stockings; Rasta, another black, has a white blaze from forehead to nose; the third black, Magic, has a white diamond between his eyes. The chestnut is Billy Lee.