Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - You see them in downtown Lafayette every Saturday night. They monitor activity along the parade route during Louisiana's most fun Mardi Gras. The 7 horses of Lafayette Police Department's Mounted Patrol fill a unique position, and they elicit smiles (if you're not breaking the law) wherever they show up.

Lafayette Mounted Patrol Unit has two full-time officers, but they have a total of 12 riders. The other 10 train and work with the horses on their time off so they are ready to, well, mount up when duty calls. The riders have a wonderful perspective when they are on horseback, towering 10 feet above the crowd.

Lafayette Police Mounted Patrol
Courtesy Lafayette Police Department

Sergeant Todd Green has ridden with the mounted unit since 2006. Interestingly, he had never ridden a horse before! He decided to join the division as a volunteer and is now a supervisor.

Corporal Adam Townley joined the mounted patrol in 2012 as a part-timer and has since become full time. He grew up training and riding horses, but he admits that the training of police horses is much different.

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The horses go through specialized training so they are able to deal with the situations police find themselves in and also the environment in which they work. These four-legged beauties are most times walking around in crowds, they need to become accustomed to smoke, gunfire, and other intense circumstances that other horses do not.

Lafayette Police Department Mounted Patrol
Courtesy Lafayette Police Department

You'll notice that, in each of the descriptions of Lafayette Mounted Patrol, the horses come from different sources. However, they all receive the same training at the Lafayette facility off Lajaunie Road.

It's worth noting that the horses are well-cared for and truly beloved by their handlers. They are fully vetted and retired at an appropriate age. As a matter of fact, three of them will go into retirement soon. When they do, their local riders are offered the option to take them in or they are offered to another mounted patrol officer from another department.

All horses are purchased or donated to the Lafayette Mounted Police Unit. If you are interested in assisting the mounted unit by way of a monetary donation, please contact Sgt. Jason Ardoin at (337) 291-5607 office, or email at You may also contact Sgt. Ardoin regarding inquiries about the “Friends of the Lafayette Mounted Police Unit.”

Without further ado, meet the 7 horses of the Lafayette Police Department's Mounted Patrol.

Meet the Lafayette Police Department's Mounted Patrol

The Horses of the Lafayette Police Department's Mounted Patrol

Gallery Credit: Tracy Wirtz

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