Bethlehem Pa. Police Horses. Image: The Morning Call.

Bethlehem’s police horses to get new home

Nicole Radzievich reporting for The Morning Call writes:

Bethlehem’s [Pennsylvania] four police horses will be moving into some new digs come fall.

Friends of the Mounted Police, a nonprofit that raises money for the unit, has signed a lease for 10 acres of land next to the Holy Saviour Cemetery on Linden Street.

Allentown Diocese, the landowner, does not immediately need the property, which is large enough to accommodate a $365,000 barn and provide enough space for Grey, Asa, Pharaoh and George to graze. The land is buffered by land that is farmed.

Tom Tenges, president of Friends of the Bethlehem Mounted Unit, said he expects to be applying for the barn permits soon and having the horses hoof it to their new home, possibly, by September.

“It is more than twice the acreage of any of the other options we looked at. The topography works perfectly for the design of our barn and the grazing fields,” Tenges said. “We look forward to construction to begin as soon as we can secure the required permits.”

The city resurrected the mounted unit in 2009 after a nearly 68-year hiatus. Since then, the unit has expanded thanks to donations by Lehigh University, which adopted Asa, and Moravian College, which adopted Grey. Tenges’ group takes care of the rest of the expenses except for police salaries, which the city pays.

Police officials describe the horses as 1,800-pound public relations machines, making officers more approachable and fostering community policing efforts.

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One thought on “Bethlehem’s police horses to get new home”

  1. This is awesome news! About eleven years ago, a police force in Indiana downsized its mounted unit and sent its three horses to an auction in Indiana. The three officers involved with that unit were unable to purchase the horses since the horses were dispersed before they had a chance to step up for them. The three horses’ names were Applejack, Harvey and Junior. Somehow, two of the three (Applejack and Harvey) ended up with a low life TB trainer here in Ohio by the name of George Iacovacci. George had purchased them at the auction in Indiana with the hope that he could “flip” them and make some quick cash. He then threatened to take them to the notorious Sugarcreek auction if I didn’t pay him $500 cash for each of them. Well, I paid it and Applejack was with me for eight years until he was humanely euthanized a couple of years ago. I found Harvey a wonderful home in northern Ohio and he was with his adopter until he, too, was euthanized. We don’t know what happened to Junior. Shortly after I purchase Applejack and Harvey, one of the police officers reached out to me. His name was Shawn Richwine. I don’t remember how we connected but he was devastated that he wasn’t given the opportunity to purchase his equine partner but the department basically just sent the horses to the auction without informing the officers of their intentions. It was a very troubling story and certainly heart wrenching for the officers who loved those horses so very much.

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