It’s a classic movie ending: riding off on horseback into a sunset. But when the sun sets in Downtown Arlington, these horseback riders are just getting started.
“We were at Mellow Mushroom having dinner,” said Amber Zuckerman, self-described downtown enthusiast, “and my son Eli looked up and saw the mounted policemen. We couldn’t finish our pizza quick enough. The boys had to go see them.”
Eli, a fifth grader, said, “My first thought was that it was weird, because I didn’t expect them to be in Arlington. Maybe Fort Worth, but not Arlington. It was pretty cool.”
The first time you see the new Arlington Police Department mounted unit on patrol, it might surprise you too. But it’s not the first time APD has had a mounted unit. Twice before within the last few decades, Arlington officers and their steeds have been on duty at special events throughout the city.
Today’s APD mounted patrol is a volunteer unit, meaning that the horses belong to the officers who ride them. The unit, with its depth of experience and rigorous training, adds a unique dimension to the force. Officer Cliff Elliott said, “We’ve been working for over three years to bring the mounted patrol back to Arlington. It’s great to be here, serving the community in this way.”
“Having the support of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation,” said officer Tim Henz, “really helped make it happen.”
“The mounted patrol is part of Arlington’s history, and we look forward to it being a part of Arlington’s future,” said DAMC president and CEO Tony Rutigliano. “Having these officers present at special events not only provides the necessary patrolling but enhances the visitors’ overall experience. Especially for the kids.”
Eli’s six year old brother Alex agrees. “It was awesome! I’ve never felt a horse before and Buddy was super soft. The policemen were really nice too.”