EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The bond between members of law enforcement is life long. It’s well documented that the bond can extend to K-9 officers, but lesser known are some of the other animals that are key to a police department.
A family’s connection with their pet is a special thing.
“She has her own personality.”
The Wood Family has a unique pet, Blondie.
“You open the door, she’ll walk herself in the trailer.”
Tyrone Wood has loved horses since he was a kid.
“I own a few other horses and each one of them has their own personality.”
Blondie has earned her place as a part of the family. She’s got a job.
“An officer on horse is worth ten officers on foot.”
As a matter of fact’s she Tyrone’s co-worker as a member of the Evansville Police Department’s mounted patrol.
“1935 was the last time Evansville Police Department had horses.”
The mounted patrol made a comeback for the first time in 80 years with Blondie and Sergeant Wood in 2015.
“We actually own our own horses. I purchased Blondie. I own Blondie. Our family does. Then I bought the trailer and the initial equipment.”
Bought in Louisiana it took some time for her to become police ready.
“We use our sirens on our police cars, and we do all of that so when we go out in town and we want to stand still, this is what she’ll do.”
Forging a connection in the community isn’t the only way Blondie comes in handy.
“It takes a special horse to be able to be able to put up with all the sounds in the city.”
It also provides the 3 officers of the mounted patrol a unique view and position in serious situations like a recent protest in the city.
“I was hit with a bottle and Blondie was hit in the face. “You’ve got people face to face. There’s that tension. They’re pushing and screaming at each other. Two horses we were able to walk through and move 40 or 50 people there.”
A member of the only mounted patrol in the Tri-State, she can do the hard work. Scoping out criminals, providing a connection with neighborhoods that may not normally welcome police, and giving officers a unique form of crowd control.
But her biggest impact is at home with Sergeant Wood’s family, creating a connection these kids will never forget.
“Anytime I’m on Blondie he wants to come see me ride. Of course after we’re done today we’ll saddle Blondie up and he’s going to ride before he goes back to school.”
Sergeant Wood says he hopes that Blondie will be a part of the Evansville Police Department until he retires. The other horses of the mounted patrol are Speck and Maximus.