Raleigh, N.C. — The Raleigh Police Department on Tuesday welcomed its two newest officers – each with four legs.
Zeus and Willow, a pair of 5-year-old horses donated by their owners, will join the city’s Mounted Patrol Unit after they are trained. Officers in the mounted patrol use the horses for crowd control, traffic control, making arrests, foot chases and issuing tickets.
Officials said the new animals will replace two retiring horses, Blade and Flash.
Flash is 18 years old and has been with the unit for 10 years. Blade is 14 years old and has been on patrol for six years, but he is retiring because of a foot injury. The animals are being returned to their original owners, city officials said.
The new horses will undergo a 60-day trial period, followed by six to eight months of training. Officials said the training includes exposure to the sound of gunfire, sirens, lights and other things the animals may encounter while on patrol.