Detroit Lady, one of the newest members of the New Orleans Police Department’s Mounted Unit, is celebrating her first birthday today! Named in honor of the home of Strategic Staffing Solutions, a strong supporter of the department and unit, Detroit Lady is being groomed to join the rest of NOPD officers, both human and equine, to patrol New Orleans streets by the time she is fully developed at 3 years old.
“S3 has been an amazing partner, not only in recruiting efforts, but in overall support of the New Orleans Police Department,”
said Melanie A. Talia, President and CEO, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. “Our mounted officers, both the four legged and two legged, work more than the average officer. With 152 sanctioned festivals in the city, not including Mardi Gras, Essence and Jazz Fest, our officers work a lot. One mounted officer is said to be the equivalent of as many as 8 to 10 officers on foot. When you’re that high up, you can see trouble as it’s beginning to occur and potentially stop it. This makes it critical that we have a mounted unit and that can only happen with the continued support of organizations like S3.”
Born on site at the New Orleans Police Department’s Mounted Unit stable, Detroit Lady came into the world to the open arms of NOPD officers anxiously awaiting her arrival. A gorgeous chestnut color with a sleek shape to match, Detroit Lady is not shy and reportedly, loves being photographed.
“She’s a camera hog. As soon as you walk into the pen with your phone out, she is headed right towards you and ready to have her picture taken. She wants you to pet her and touch her nose. She’ll even nibble on your ear or hair. She’s very friendly.”
By immediately introducing her to human contact, sounds, voices and the human smell, Talia explained, it prepares Detroit Lady for the kind of experiences she will have throughout her career as an NOPD Mounted Division equine officer.
“It’s called imprinting,” Talia said. “When it’s Mardi Gras and you have a million people crammed into a 6-12 block area, everybody’s drinking and having a good time, she’s going to have to be on duty and patrol those streets. She has to be able to handle all of the sights, sounds and distinct smells that we as humans often don’t even think about. This is why imprinting is so important.”
Recent changes in sourcing new equines for the department has made partnerships like the one between S3 and NOPD more important than ever before.
“For us, this partnership is absolutely huge! Historically, we receive most of our equine officers from the Angola State Penitentiary through an Angola breeding program, meaning they came to us exposed to some of the same things they will experience while on patrol. Due to many changes at our state penitentiary, that program has been discontinued. As a result, we had to figure out how we would get horses for our mounted unit.”
For more information about the New Orleans Police Department’s Mounted Unit, visit nopjf.org/adopt-a-horse.