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IMPD's Mounted Police Unit to leave property by December

Effort underway to build a new barn to keep operation viable
Posted at 9:47 AM, Aug 23, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — There are new plans for the land that the IMPD Mounted Patrol calls home.

The unit is facing a December deadline to move its operation to a different site. The group will need to raise more than a million dollars to get the new facility under construction.

The IMPD Mounted Police Unit is made up of seven horses and a support team of five officers and a civilian who manages the horses and barn.

The unit is often seen at some of the biggest events in the city, but it is its work in neighborhoods that comes with the most valuable reward.

"Maybe it's the lady who sits on the porch and watches every that goes down the street. She's not going to walk up to the police and say 'I say x-y-z', but up can come out and talk to an officer on a horse — and no one thinks twice about it. So we give people avenues to talk without being afraid, without being suspicious," said Sgt. Tyneka Sperry,

The unit's barn, stalls and equipment on the west side of Indianapolis need to move by the end of the year to make room for a housing project to benefit survivors of domestic violence.

The Central Indiana Police Foundation is stepping in to help the Mounted Police Association manage the construction of a new facility, which could cost more than $1 million and would assist with making sure the unit gets the funding it needs for items not covered by tax dollars.

Lisa Rollings, the executive director of CIPF, says there are options to board the horses until a new barn is constructed.

"So we come alongside them and help and provide those extra funds so our citizens can help us be a part of this amazing project, " Rollings said.

The IMPD budget covers big-ticket items, including officers' salaries as well as the horses' food and vet bills.

But the unit leans on its annual fundraiser to pay for the maintenance of its current facility and officer training. This year, those dollars will also be used to help build a new facility.

The Central Indiana Police Foundation will host a polo match fundraiser at 6 p.m. Friday at the Hickory Hall Polo Club in Whitestown starting. Gates open at 5 p.m. General admission is $40 per vehicle, and for kids, there will be a candy drop from a plane during half-time.