A special report by The Tremonster
Recently, The Tremonster asked Cleveland Police Captain Keith Sulzer why Tremonsters might be noticing more officers on foot – or even on horseback – interacting with residents in and around our neighborhood. His answer was simple: “Cleveland Police understand the importance of community policing in our mission to make Cleveland a safer place to live, work, and raise our children.” Sulzer emphasized the mission is felt force-wide: “Every officer in the division knows that connecting with the community is our number one goal.” Horseback patrols, like the recent Lincoln Park patrol of Cleveland Police Officers George Janusczak and Breeze (pictured), have actually been on the rise since 2012.
The patrol areas are picked randomly or in answer to community complaints, but according to Officer Janusczak, “We’re everywhere – we’re just out on basic patrol: just checking the neighborhood out and making sure everything’s all right.” When asked if people react differently to an officer on horseback, he cracked a smile said, “Everybody loves the horses.”
Cleveland Police Mounted Officers and horses have seen presidents inaugurated, honored the fallen, and have served in celebrations within our community. Cleveland’s Mounted Unit is one of the oldest in the country, with a history that can be traced back 135 years; the unit has been a part of some of the greatest moments in our city and nation.
Cleveland ’s financial deficit in 2003 forced cutbacks, and the historic Mounted Police Unit was to be eliminated, but a volunteer group of civic and business leaders formed the Committee to Save the Cleveland Mounted Police to revive one of our proudest traditions. Prior to 2012, the Mounted Unit remained off the radar and decreased in numbers to three horses and three officer riders. Now, with the City of Cleveland in full transformation, public and private supporters are committed to a renaissance for the Mounted Unit.
Since spring, 2012, the Mounted Unit has been adding more officers and more horses to patrol the new attractions blossoming in downtown Cleveland and its neighborhoods. While the city pays for the barn that houses the horses and the salaries of the officers that care for them, it does not pay for the horses. The Friends of The Cleveland Mounted Police, in partnership with The Cleveland Mounted Police Charitable Trust, pays for all horse-related expenses, including veterinary care, food, training, and necessary equipment. Thanks to generous supporters, The FCMP has purchased many new saddles, uniforms, rain gear, helmets, blankets, and other supplies too numerous to mention. It costs approximately $5,000 per year to support each horse in the unit. If you are interested in supporting the Mounted Unit, please send your donations to: Friends of the Cleveland Mounted Police, 1109 Carnegie Ave (Second Floor), Cleveland, OH 44115. You may also donate online by visiting www.clevelandmountedpolice.com/support and selecting the “Donate” button. Your support is greatly appreciated. Giving levels include Spur – $10.00; Boot – $25.00; Reins – $50.00; Get in the Saddle – $100.00; Show Your Sheild – $250.00; and Troop Leader – $500.00.