Chief Jean-Michel (JM) had the honour of hosting a retirement event today at the Stables at Bengal Junior Lancers for one of our police horses. ‘Patrol Cruiser,’ who’s affectionately known as ‘Cruise,’ retired today after 6+ years of service to Halifax Regional Police and our community.
Cruise came to HRP in 2007 and was formally sworn-in as a member of our team on August 3, 2008. He has retired effective today due to a health issue. Essentially, he has the beginning stages of a disease that’s similar to osteoporosis in people. HRP has decided that it’s best to retire him now to allow him to have a good quality-of-life in retirement.
As of this afternoon, he’s moving to his new home at the Porter Equine Centre in Stewiacke, where he’ll be in the company of numerous other horses and work with adults and children learning to ride. We’re really keeping this in the police family, as the owner of the equine centre is a former RCMP member who participated in the Musical Ride and understands the needs of a retired service animal. We’re confident they’ll give him a great life as he moves onto the next chapter in his life.
Here are a few of Cruise’s memorable moments as a member of the HRP Mounted Unit:
- He loves pink peppermints and people who knew this about him would bring them to him while he was on the job.
- He also loved to stop at a local hotel for a green apple. He and our other police horse, Sarge, would literally try to pull their riders into the hotel’s driveway for this healthy snack.
- He helped make arrests and worked major concerts and protests over his six-year career. He also proudly led many parades along with Sarge.
- He’s a laid back and kind soul who has a knack for working with kids. Cruise once interacted with a child with autism and elicited a response from the child that her care workers had never seen before. He’s truly a gentle giant.
- He travelled to the North American Police Equestrian Competition in Pennsylvania when he was just five-years-old and had only been in service for two years. He excelled and was in his element.
- He once slipped on the grass and fell, breaking his rider’s leg in a number of places. Thankfully, she recovered well and they were able to continue as a team for several more years after that.
- He’s also remembered for running away at our charity ball game last year when his rider dismounted to throw the ball back into the infield. As you can likely tell, he’s very spirited!
- He loved working with the community and is very social, always looking to interact with people. He and Sarge have truly bridged the gap between the police and our citizens, and have become much loved ambassadors for our police service.
We ask everyone to join us in congratulating Cruise on his six years of dedicated service to HRP and our community. He really was the people’s horse in his role as a service animal. As a token of our appreciation, the Chief presented a plaque with photos of Cruise to his former and current riders; this plaque will have a special place in Police Headquarters.
Best of luck in your retirement, Cruise! We’ll miss you, but no one will miss you more than Sarge. On that note, rest assured that HRP is currently working to find another horse so that our Mounted Unit will continue to have two horses.
Special thanks to the current and former members of the Mounted Unit who came out to wish Cruise well.
Cruise with his current and former riderCruise with the officer-in-charge of the Mounted Unit (left) and current and former Mounted Unit members who have served in the unit while Cruise was in service with HRP.