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Caesars Entertainment Group makes $50,000 gift to fund new IMPD Horse Patrol barn

IMPD Horse Patrol Barn Donation event
Mayor Joe Hogsett (foreground) and Police Chief Randell Taylor (second from left) join IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association to receive $50,000 gift for new horse barn

Today members of the IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol Association were joined by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IMPD Police Chief Randell Taylor, and the Unit members to receive a $50,000 from Caesars Entertainment Group in support of a capital campaign for a permanent home.

“When you tour the grounds, you see a new facility is needed,” remarked Mike Rich, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. “We’re thrilled to be able to help kickstart this campaign.”

Capital campaign donations made to the Association support costs to build a new barn on property adjacent to the current Tibbs Avenue site. Counting the Caesars Entertainment donation today, the Association has raised nearly $200,000 toward its $1 million goal. 

These officers and these animals deserve it.

– Mayor Joe Hogsett

“Our teams are passionate about finding ways to work on projects we believe are impactful to communities,” said Trent McIntosh, senior vice president/general manager of Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. “These equine athletes help the IMPD do their jobs every day.”

“We’re here to keep our community safe and improve relationships,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “There are no better ambassadors than the horses I stand in front of today. One day soon you’ll see a state of the art of location at this site.

“I want to thank Mike and Trent of Indiana Grand and Harrahs for this $50,000 contribution,” said Mayor Hogsett. “These officers and these animals deserve it.”

“I always had a connection to large animals,” said Chief Randell Taylor, whose father was a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois. “He’d show them to me, and I was in awe. I didn’t come to Indy until 1993, and one of the first things I saw downtown was the Mounted Patrol. My heart is really for these horses.”    

IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol and Mayor Joe Hogsett

About the capital campaign

The donation is designated for the capital campaign underway to design, build, and maintain a new horse barn and permanent home for the Unit, formed in 1983. For over fifteen years, the Unit officers and their horses have operated from a set of three small construction trailers donated by the Lilly corporation and a small barn at 77 N. Tibbs on the west side of Indianapolis not intended for long-term use. The average lifespan of these trailers is two or three years, maximum.

“We have twenty acres on the grounds of the former Central State Hospital,” noted Allan Whitesell, IMPD Horse Patrol Sergeant. “Every day you will see us out doing community relations and crowd management, ensuring viable access for emergency crews and patrolling the infield at the Track. And when we patrol the neighborhoods of Indy, there’s nothing better than a young kid running to us: We know for many, a police horse may be one of the only interactions they have with us.”

IMPD Mounted Horse Patrol accepts capital campaign donation check

“I look at my job as the fun deputy chief, with motorcycles and this patrol,” said Josh Barker, IMPD operations department chief. “There is nothing more endearing in an era of mechanized policing than getting out of our cars and being available.”

“My sincere thanks to Caesars,” said Chris Golightly, executive director of the IMPD Horse Patrol Association. “We met here in January, and they gave us a commitment at that time after touring. We’re all incredibly indebted to that. If you know anyone interested in getting this facility built, I’ll tell this story and show you the grounds.”

As Downtown businesses request more police patrols and parks and greenways are busier than ever, the Unit and their equine partners need your help. The IMPD Horse Patrol Association is a non-profit organization that raises funds to supplement costs including Unit horses, field fencing, grooming supplies, salt blocks, and tack, along with officer training and classes.

You can donate online now. If you’d like to make a large donation or learn more, contact Chris Golightly, executive director of the association.

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