By Rosalie Tirella
Their official title: Mounted Police Unit. The name every little kid in every Worcester inner-city neighborhood will shout when she or he sees one of the five Worcester Police Department’s courageous steeds and their cool cop riders: HORSES!
And then they’ll think, instinct leading them the way it does with all kids and artists: YEAH!! MY HORSES! LET’S PAT THEM!!!!
And then they’ll drop whatever they’re doing – good or bad – and run to the brown, black or bay equine (white is usually not the color of most police horses) to stroke the steed’s elegant neck. And the animal – huge, majestic, its coat glistening in the sun – will patiently stand (police horses must be calm, even-tempered, not skittish) as the city kids touch, tickle it and ask the cop astride it questions like: How much hay does he eat? How fast can he go?
No nags for our WPD! No thoroughbreds either! – they’re too high strung for the job! The city’s handlers (volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office and Mass State Police) will know which good horses to choose for the second largest city in New England – Worcester, my city, a city whose downtown and inner-city neighborhoods so desperately need more beauty a la the 12 POW! WOW! WORCESTER murals that grace our downtown buildings and bridges.
Picture this: a WPD mounted police officer and his trusty black steed trotting by the YWCA or the Hanover Theatre on a summer night before the Latin American festival, twinkly lights shining in the Hanover trees, salsa music blowing over Worcester City Hall, the Big Dipper blinking down on dancers pressed against each other in the languid August night: Absolute CITY MAGIC!!!!!!
Sure, City Manager Ed Augustus, the guy behind this brilliant proposal, knows a good cop and his horse can do the job of 10 police officers on foot patrol on in police cars. He knows this makes them perfect for patroling neighborhoods and crowd-control. A courageous yet calm horse can make its way through thick crowds of folks, the officer riding him or her can see great distances because he or she is perched so damned high!
Most city kids will want to be up that high! In that cat bird’s saddle! They’ll want a ride, too! Down Piedmont Street or up Ward Street! And they will see – learn – just how beautiful and mysterious nature is, how important it is to be kind – never cruel! – to animals; that our police officers can be as gentle and even tempered as the horses they ride. The community will see that Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargeant cares about our community – about streets that most people avoid or on which they even have the temerity to dump their garbage – right out of their car windows as they drive by! My neighbor has seen this happen on our street – Ward – and she’s run out of her home to give the slobs hell! Go, sweet neighbor, go!!!!
City kids, when they see the police horse, will admire his or her elegant neck with pretty long mane combed out like a pretty girl’s. They’ll admire its height, recorded in “hands” – usually between 15 and 16 of them – from its clopping hooves to its tingly spine. That’s roughly my height! Then those big soft brown eyes and ears that can turn in almost every direction to pick up the slightest sound! Horses can see almost 360 degrees around because of where their eyes are in their heads and their long flexible necks. Horses are amazing animals – intelligent and affectionate! They’ll rub their foreheads against your chest to say: Hi! I missed you! Any carrot treats for me?
There is nothing quite so special as a horse – any city kid can tell you that!
Thank you, Worcester Mayor Joe Petty and the majority (which means we’ve got a YES vote!) of the Worcester City Council for being so excited about this idea! Thank you for whole heartedly endorsing it! With volunteers, maybe even donated horses, the vet students at Becker, the fields at Green Hill Park, the donated stable space WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
Of course, where would we be without Worcester City Councilors Mike Gaffney and Konnie Lukes taking a big steamy dump on the proposal? – as big as horse shit! These two perpetual naysayers and cheapskates are against Mounted Patrol Units. They say it costs too much money.
We say to community destroyer Gaffney and slumlord Lukes: Un-pinch your shriveled souls! GET CREATIVE! USE YOUR CONTACTS! GET BEHIND THIS PROPOSAL and vote YES!.. Even though we don’t need your crummy votes!
Here’s to the new cool Worcester!
Go, Ed Augustus and Steve Sergeant, go!!!
Go, horses, go!