DENVER – The Denver Police Department is welcoming its newest recruit to the department. He’s 9 years old and has four legs.
Maverick, a mustang, has been with DPD for about two months, training to become part of the Mounted Patrol Unit.
Maverick was born a wild horse in January 2010. He’s spent most of his life on a ranch but has now traded the country for city living.
“He’s a nice horse. He’s well-tempered and well-mannered. He’s a sweetheart,” Maverick’s partner Officer Ron Jensen told KDVR.
Tuesday afternoon, Maverick was officially sworn in as a patrol officer.
“This is the first ever that we’ve done this,” Sgt. Brian Conover said.
In the past, horses just became part of the unit without any celebration, but DPD decided it was time to give their horses the same recognition as other members of the team.
“It’s official. It’s a big moment for somebody to actually tell you that you’re accepted and now you’re in this position and you’re one of this group,” Jensen said.
DPD invited the kids from Sun Valley Youth Center to help during Maverick’s ceremony. They read Maverick’s part during the oath, and each child was appointed as an official junior mounted patrol officer for the day.
Maverick will patrol streets and parks with his partners all over Denver. He will visit schools, work parades and appear at other special events where mounted patrol officers are needed.
“We bridge that gap with the community. We’re very visible so when the public sees us, they flock to us,” Jensen said. “When they see the horses, they want pictures, they want to pet them. So it really opens up the communication between police and the community.”