Beloved Mounted Patrol horse Oliver retires
Minneapolis Police said goodbye to one of the most valuable members of the department’s Mounted Patrol Unit last week as Oliver the horse retired.
After 13 years and more than 1,200 patrol and bar-close events, Oliver headed to greener pastures. Two members of the Stearns County Mounted Reserve will give him a great home where he can rest and relax following a stellar career.
Oliver joined the force when he was 6 years old. It is rare that a horse can serve on the Mounted Patrol Unit for more than a dozen years and it is a true testament to Ollie’s dignified service and dedication. In October 2002, he was named Officer of the Month as he helped a sergeant chase down a shooting suspect. He has also served in two funerals for officer in-the-line of duty deaths and had a lead role in working patrol detail controlling crowds during the Republican National Convention.
Aside from the tactical advantages that a horse like Oliver provides officers, he was also a strong bridge between the unit and the community. His docile nature was a great conversation starter with both children and adults.
While it is tough for officers to see a member of the family leave, it is easier to let go knowing Oliver will have a good home. He will still “patrol” in a couple of local parades during his retirement.
Published Feb 19, 2014