The Massachusetts State Police have made them fully sworn troopers, complete with badges. They are also one of the best public relations arms the organization has – horses and mounted troopers. During the summer they rotate around Department of Conservation and Recreation beaches or parks during the summer.
Locally, you will find them in the Red Rock area, King’s Beach in Lynn and on Revere Beach.
Stealth-black Percheron thoroughbred cross breeds, they are descended from a powerful draft horse originally from France. Trooper Mike Crowley, who has been with the Massachusetts State Police for 15 years and riding for the State Police for 12 years.
“I was a city kid from Medford,” Crowley said, when asked if he had ever been on a horse ever?
Crowley’s horse is Captain, who exudes the strength of the breed while also being very approachable.
His partner Trooper Bill Newton grew up in Norfolk and also had no horseback riding experience. He’s been with the State Police for 14 years and has been riding horses for the State Police for five years.
Newton’s horse is Amadeus, serious, wise and big.
Both officers underwent special training after the academy to learn about the horses and how to handle them. They also had to complete an 80-hour riding class, in addition to hands-on and classroom time. They also have to be certified every year.
Oh, and then there is the barn work. The troopers do get inmates from the Concord Prison to muck the stalls. But there is plenty more to do. Grooming the horses and getting the trucks ready to transport the horse to the beach or park.
“With this job you have to like animals and want to work and get dirty,” Crowley said. “We are ride every day and we’re a full-year operation.”
The barracks for the horses is a stable in Acton where 15 horses live.
Crowley added that the horses are also trained in search and rescue, crowd control and civil disturbances. You will also find them at Gillette Stadium, including concerts, games and championships. They also do a lot of parades and travel to summer camps with the horses.
“People must say that we must love this job and we do,” Crowley said, adding the same goes for his fellow K9 troopers.