The NYPD’s specially trained horses and dogs are the stars of two new 2018 calendars up for sale this holiday season to benefit the NYC Police Foundation.
The proceeds of the calendar, on sale for $20, will help The New York City Police Foundation, which bolsters the department with funding for projects, studies, equipment, education, training and more.
Technically officers themselves, horses Patriot and McQuade II stand high above the throng of crowds, giving their cop counterparts the best vantage point. They are two of about 55 horses in the unit that help the NYPD with counterterrorism, crowd control, ceremonial events and, occassionally, law enforcement, according to NYPD spokesman Det. Martin Speechley.
“In Times Square, you’ll notice cops and people walking up to them and talking to them,” he said. “They are able to be seen by everyone and can see well over the top of crowds to see what’s going on and way ahead of time.”
When a man tried to detonate a bomb in Times Square in 2010, a mounted police officer was able to see the explosive’s smoke billowing out of a car from high up and far away, according to Speechley. The height advantage helped the NYPD respond faster.
Horses aren’t the only animals being honored in a calendar. There is also a separate K-9 unit calendar featuring dogs of all shapes and sizes, like Maddy, who sniffs out explosives for the Critical Response Command at events like the TSC NYC Marathon.
From labs to German shepherds, bloodhounds and Belgian malinois, the K-9 unit runs the gamut in skills. Typically shepherds, malinoises and bloodhounds are used for tracking suspects, while labs are usually used for bomb detection, according to Speechley.
Each dog is named after a fallen officer. Maddy’s namesake is Officer Madeline Carlo, who died in 2007 from a 9/11-related illness, according to the NYPD.
“In many ways they have their own shields as officers because they really do serve a policing role,” said NYPD Lt. Tarik Sheppard. “People love the dogs…they’re in a rough role but for police they’re very attractive. They’re well taken care of, good lookin’ dogs.”
Sheppard said that the calendars are a way for the department to connect with people on something other than crime.
“People love animals and it’s a way to connect us to the community,” he said.
Calendars can be bought online on the foundation’s website.