Archive photo of Hampton Mounted Patrol, approximately 1986
| Deputy Chief Dennis Pelletier(Ret)
brought the Hampton Police Mounted Unit to life in 1981 with the support of the Department
and many people in our Community. The horses have been used ever since. They can be seen
routinely patrolling our sandy beaches. They've also been very useful in helping manage the large crowds we see.
They are always a crowd favorite.
We currently have 4 male Tennessee Walking horses (Blaze 19 y.o., Patriot 14 y.o., Buddy 12 y.o. and the newest horse, Aarow 15 years old). They are very calm and not easily spooked. This is very important considering the congested conditions, noise, and events that take place at the beach.
In addition to their regular patrols, they are used for Parades and Police Funerals. They've also competed in regional Mounted Patrol competitions.
A frequently asked question is about how the horses are cared for. The horses are kept on a spacious farm with several acres of grazing area. They are cared for very well by our horse groomer/trainer and the owners of the farm. The officers who ride can frequently be found there on their own time, checking on them constantly and giving them plenty of exercise.
The horses are generally retired when they get to be in their early 20's. The officers are very familiar with each horses personality and characteristics. Because of this it is not difficult to determine when it is time for them to retire. We have an arrangement to have each retired horse spend their retirement days at a nearby farm where they are pampered even more.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Can I pet him? (Yes, as long as the officer gives the o.k. first)
2) What's his name? (That's answered above).
3) Can I take him for a ride? (No - unless you come and work for us!)
4) What do they eat? (Hay, grain and special feed. Sugar and carrots for a treat)
5) Can I feed him? (No thank you. We don't want them to get in the habit of expecting food from every hand that comes near their mouths).
Ready for Duty