IMPD Mounted Patrol loses a second police horse within one month


On the morning of July 3, 2018, the IMPD Mounted Patrol put Dusty, a 22-year old Percheron quarter cross horse, to rest. He had lower leg issues that were beyond the scope of rehabilitation. Dusty’s death comes just a month after the passing of Colonel, another of the Unit’s horses who was laid to rest because of age and pain.

Dusty was purchased by the Mounted Horse Patrol Association in 2004 from Angola Prison in Louisiana where inmates there help train police horses. Dusty was a regular of event patrols around Indianapolis. He stood approximately 16.2 hands tall (about 5.5 feet).

Horse Patrol Association Executive Director Chris Golightly said, “He was the rock and father of the herd. He was always placing the rookie or veteran horses in their place. He was a rock-solid, reliable horse for the Unit and he will be missed for sure”

The Unit’s herd is increasingly aged, with an average age of about 15 years. The Association faces the difficult task of replacing both Dusty and Colonel despite tight funds to replace two at once.

Training expenses for new horses are also supported by the non-profit Association. If you would like to support the Unit and help purchase a new horse, donate to the IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association.

IMPD Mounted Patrol suffers loss of one its police horses


On June 6, the IMPD Mounted Patrol and Mounted Horse Patrol Association made the difficult decision to put down one of their police horses. Colonel, who served with the unit for over six years was humanely put to rest because of age and pain.

“He was in a lot of pain, and after much deliberation with the officers, we recognized the best thing for Colonel was to put him to rest,” said Allan Whitesell, Commander for the Unit. “He was a strong horse and strong partner,” said Whitesell.

Colonel came to the Mounted unit in March 2012. He was acquired from a farm in Bloomington, Indiana. Officers who worked with Colonel described his personality as “pleasant and non-fearing”, a demeanor that is a perfect fit for the Unit.

Colonel was a Percheron Thoroughbred cross that stood about 16.2 hands (about 5.5 feet) tall with a weight of 1800 pounds. “He was an incredibly strong horse. It was both intimidating and beautiful at the same time,” said Whitesell.

The IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association purchased Colonel and all of the horses for the Mounted Patrol. This arrangement protects horses from City-property auction laws when horses reach the end of their useful life or begin suffering from age and illness.

The Unit’s herd is increasingly aged, with an average age of about 15 years. The Association will now turn to the difficult task of replacing Colonel. Training expenses for a new horse is also supported by the non-profit Association. If you would like to support the Unit and help purchase a new horse, donate to the IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association at


The Indianapolis Metropolitan Horse Patrol Association, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the continued funding and success of the Indianapolis Mounted Patrol Unit. The Horse Patrol Association is led by a 14-member board of directors. The HPA helps raise money to fund healthcare, food, shelter, equipment, and training for both officers and horses. To learn more about the HPA, its fundraising efforts, and more about its programming, visit

RTV6: IMPD Mounted Patrol still in search of a permanent home after 35 years of service

Mayor Hudnut proposing IMPD Mounted Patrol

RTV6 has a look back at 30+ years of footage about the formation and location of the Mounted Patrol:

With a picture in hand and an ear-to-ear grin, Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut announced the formation of a mounted patrol unit in December, 1982.

Hudnut spoke optimistically about the patrol’s potential impact on the city saying, “We feel that once officers have been trained and the horses have been trained and they are all on duty… there will be not only increased law enforcement, but also a real stimulus to downtown commercial activity.  This is something that is not a frill, but an essential addition to IPD law enforcement activity.”

The videos they’ve uncovered show Mayor Hudnut was right about the Unit filling an essential law enforcement activity. The Unit is increasingly the most highly-visible law enforcement presence Downtown, in parks, and sometimes the only presence on trails and bikeways.

Despite the benefits and Mayor Hudnut’s upbeat leadership, the Unit still lacks a permanent home. The Mounted Horse Patrol Association is conducting preliminary research and planning for a new facility on the near-west side of Indianapolis. You can learn more about the plans and donate to support the Unit here.

Throwback to 1979: The Ladies of the Mounted Patrol Cookbook

Ladies of the Mounted Patrol CookbookIn the 1970’s the Indianapolis Police Department had plenty of patrol cars. Mounted Units seemed a relic of a bygone era. Then, like today, the Unit raised funds to help support itself.

One of the early fundraisers was in 1979. “The Ladies of the Indianapolis Mounted Patrol” released a cookbook containing over a hundred recipes. The cookbook sits in the Central Library’s Indianapolis Room collection.

In it are delightful recipes like this one for Candy Reese Cups:

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 oz. of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 stick paraffin wax

    Mean peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Roll into small balls. Stick with toothpicks and chill. Usually put them on waxed paper on a cookie sheet so they don’t stick. Melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Melt paraffin in separate pan. Mix together very well. Keen in double boiler over low heat. Dip peanut butter ball in chocolate. Chill until ready to serve.

And three variations on meatloaf, including Edna Askren’s “Best Ever Meat Loaf”:

  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 2/3 cup evaporated milk

    Mix all lightly but thoroughly. Press lightly into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours. Cool 5-10 minutes before removing from pan. Serves 6-8.

IMPD Mounted Patrol CookbookThe book is authored by Mrs. Betty Capp, Mrs. Doris Fletcher, Mrs. Donna Southern, Mrs. Donna Dellen, and Mrs. Charles Schorling, among other contributors.

The Board Officers at the time were Thomas Capp, President. Wayne Ambrous, Vice-President, James Sloan, Secretary, and Robert Ferrell, Treasurer. Nine other members of the Board served with them.

Unfortunately, sales of the cookbook weren’t enough. The unit disbanded in 1980. Relatively little Downtown foot traffic coupled with shrinking budgets forced the City and Police Department to devote more to patrol cars. In 1983, however, the unit was formally returned after Downtown business leaders raised funds to support the Unit. They saw the missing difference in safety and visibility from their storefront windows. Today, the Unit patrols Downtown daily, along with the city’s trails, parks, convention, and visitor districts.

If you’d like to help The Ladies of the Mounted Patrol and recognize their efforts, make a donation in their honor below.

The cookbook, which contains appetizers, pickles, soups, salads, side dishes, bread, rolls, pastries, main dishes, and beverages is available to view at Central Library as reference material.

Riding with the Mounted Patrol, by WISH TV


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each and every week Dick Wolfsie shares an interesting and exciting story that has a special connection to central Indiana.

This week, Wolfsie stopped to have a visit with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Mounted Patrol unit at their Central City campus.

Continue watching at and watch Colonel take his final ride in the IMPD Mounted Unit

Thanks to you the IMPD Horse Patrol Association raised over $25,000

We couldn’t have done it without you!

The IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association raised $25,204 at Polo at Sunset on Aug. 25. Funds will benefit the officers and horses that make up the IMPD Mounted Patrol. We hope you had a fantastic experience.

We have many people to thank, including you, for this successful event.

  • Thank you to Greg and Donna Chandler who own Hickory Hall Polo Club. Did you know they host fundraising events weekly? This was the first-ever sell out event at Hickory Hall Polo Club with 1,200 attendees.
  • Our event sponsors Booth Dermatology and Cosmetics and The Stutz Business Center provided support that is immensely appreciated.
  • Special thanks to Dave and Laura Kane for dropping candy from their personal plane during halftime. The candy drop was a lot of fun for the hundreds of kids in attendance.
  • The Horse Patrol Association and the Mounted Patrol officers would like to thank Melissa Coxey, DeWitt & Shrader, P.C., Benny Diggs, Tom Godby, Halstead Architects, Hilltop Farms Excavating, Chris Golightly, JH Ventures, William Mirola, MS Companies, Stephen Park, Jean Parsons, Bill & Susie Powers, Missy Roetter, Southside Harley-Davidson, The Stutz, Terry Lee Honda, and Traders Point Hunt for their sponsorships via tailgate boxes.

A final thank you to everyone who attended, donated money, bid on silent auction items, and pledged support to the Horse Patrol Association and its work. A 2018 Polo at Sunset event is in the works. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our work and next year’s event.

With many thanks,

The IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association, Officers, and Horses

President, Turner Woodard

Vice President, John Ball

Secretary, Clayton Morgan

Treasurer, Jean Parsons

Sally Booth

Heather Fortune

Tom Godby

Chris Golightly

Sergio Gonzalez-Piriz

Mike Halstead

Steve Park

Bill Powers

Susie Powers

Joe Robinson

Missy Roetter

Bob Thomas

Sgt. Allan Whitesell, Unit Cmdr.

Ofcr. Ivy Craney

Ofcr. Denny Gerald

Ofcr. Jason Palumbo

Ofcr. Lorie Phillips

Ofcr. Chad Pryce

Ofcr. Luke Schmitt

Civilian Alice Stires, Hostler

IMPD Mounted Patrol Horses: Buzz, Cody, Colonel, Dusty, Jake, Maddie, and Stretch

Getting to know the IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit

When you see these officers on the street, it’s hard to miss them. The IMPD Mounted Patrol Unit helps manage crowds, secure big events and patrol our trails and neighborhoods.

They spend hundreds of hours riding out in the community, but in order to do that, many hours are spent training behind the scenes.

IMPD Officer Lorie Phillips is training to become part of the unit right now.

“A lot of people, when I tell them we have to get 400 hours, they say why do you need 400 hours? But you have to remember these are animals with their own mind…

Read the whole story on

IMPD Mounted Patrol ready to welcome thousands Downtown for Indiana Black Expo

The final weekend of the 2017 Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is this July 14-16. Festivities wrap up July 16th and will bring thousands of visitors, concert-goers, musicians, sponsors, and exhibitors to Downtown Indianapolis from across the region. The Indianapolis Mounted Patrol has five objectives this weekend.

  1. Be visible. All 5 IMPD Mounted Patrol officers and their mounts will be working this weekend to ensure safety. Officers on horseback are higher off the ground enabling them to see across hundreds of people in a crowd and for others to see them. Anyone who needs help – either with an emergency or just directions to a destination – will be able to see Mounted Patrol officers.


  1. Positive public relations. “We’re here to help in any way we can. Part of that is helping pedestrian traffic and make sure everyone is safe. The other part is we also genuinely want to have a conversation and a good time with everyone,” said IMPD Mounted Patrol Sergeant Allan Whitesell. “If there’s a problem in your neighborhood, let us know. If you see something suspicious while Downtown, let us know.” Mounted Patrol officers are easy to spot in a crowd.


  1. Interact with children. “Our horses are trained to disregard distractions and they’re very good at it. We may not be able to walk up to every child we see, but if a kid walks up to us, they’re welcome to say hello and pet our horses, as long as we aren’t busy,” said Whitesell. Parents and guardians with children are encouraged to greet Maddie, Stretch, Neve, and all the horses with the unit while on patrol.


  1. Be firm but fair with all. “It’s our priority to keep people safe. We don’t always have the luxury of immediate and on-demand information and truth in the case of a dispute or accident,” said Whitesell. “But we’ll always do everything we can within the law and our power to make sure everyone’s rights are protected,” added Whitesell.


  1. Adapt as needed. This year’s IBE Summer Celebration will involve joint work with the IMPD, the Marion County Sherriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Indiana Homeland Security, and many other agencies like Indianapolis DPW and EMS. Streets will be closed to vehicles around the American Legion Mall (including Meridian, Pennsylvania, Michigan, St. Clair, Walnut, North, and Fort Wayne Streets) starting at 6 pm through midnight on Friday, July 14.

Officers may need to close and restrict streets around the Convention Center, too. “We have a lot of people monitoring the flow of movement in a crowd. We want to protect people from traffic, but it’s no fun for anyone in a large group if everyone gets stuck in one spot for a long time. We’re looking out for everyone’s ability to move around, too. That may be why we ask people to move one-way down a street,” said Whitesell.

If you see a Mounted Patrol officer this weekend, take a photo and tag us on Facebook @IMPDMountedPatrol or Twitter @IMPDMountedPtl.

Officers Jimmy Parent and Ed Zehner dismount for the final time

Ed Zehner

Ed Zehner

Two of IMPD Mounted Patrol’s officers dismounted for the final time. Officially retiring on February 23rd, Officer Jimmy Parent and Ed Zehner retired at a short ceremony in front of the City-County Building on the afternoon of February 22, 2017.

Zehner is retiring after a 23-year career in law enforcement that started with the Indianapolis Police Department, which later became the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. “I worked the night shift in the the east district for 11 years, from 7 pm to 3:30 am. We were always real busy, taking a lot of calls,” said Zehner, who also spent time in SWAT.

Zehner, who had never ridden a horse before joining the Mounted Patrol, joined the unit in 2003. “At first it was intimidating, and I got thrown off once and broke my wrist,” he said. “I was off two months recovering from that, but Sgt. [Steve] Park, who was the trainer at the time, got me riding again. I credit him with teaching me everything I know about horses and how to feel good riding,” said Zehner.

Zehner recalls other perilous times, like the annual Black Expo event in 2010. “I can remember being by the loading dock near Steak-n-Shake. This guy opened fire and shot nine people, but we were right on top of that. At first I was afraid we were targets since we were so high up and vulnerable, but we train ourselves and our horses to turn and run into a crowd. We had the best vantage point and saw the suspect take off in the crowd. We followed him and were on the radio to foot officers who apprehended him a short while later,” said Zehner with a slight pause. “I had been shot at before back when I was on SWAT,” said Zehner, “But we train for it.”

Officer Parent, Changing of the Officer

Jimmy Parent dismounting at the Changing of the Officer ceremony

That time on SWAT is where Zehner met Officer Jimmy Parent. Parent, a 31-year veteran of law enforcement moved with his then-fiancee to Indianapolis from Columbia, South Carolina in the early 90’s. Parent has 29 years of experience with IMPD and 18 years on the Mounted Patrol.

“When I first came to the unit, I had no experience with horses at all. The training I went through with [Sgt.] Steve Park was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It wasn’t easy, but you go through three months of training and five hours of riding a day, and it eventually clicks in your head,” said Parent.

Parent recalls fond memories of participating in the Inaugural parade of George W. Bush in 2004. “I consider that a real highlight,” he said. Parent added, “It was an honor to ride in the police memorial in Washington, D.C., too. We try to attend every year, and there’s a point when you ride by all the family members of people who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. You see the kids, often very young, and they smile as the horse rides by. That makes it all worth it because you brought a bit of happiness with you,” said Parent.

Parent says he has no significant plans for retirement except to spend more time with his wife, Lynne, and five children. Zehner is moving into a full-time job operating a local landscaping business.

Both Parent and Zehner say they’ll miss the same thing: the camaraderie with their colleagues. “It’s going to take an adjustment,” said Zehner. “For 20 years I got paid to a ride a horse. Not a bad gig,” said Parent.

View more photos from the Changing of the Officer event on Facebook

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