SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Two gentle giants are joining the ranks of the San Francisco Police Department. A duo of well-trained horses, named Gus and Duke, will be officially sworn-in as members of the SFPD’s Mounted Unit on Wednesday at a ceremony in Golden Gate Park.
San Francisco’s Mounted Patrol Unit was established in 1864 and is the second-oldest police horse force in America. “The officers on horseback – and their steeds – are some of our department’s best ambassadors,” SFPD wrote.
“This occasion marks a new beginning for these majestic animals as well as an end to the exhaustive search which took more than a year. SFPD policy requires that horses shall be extremely well broke and gentle, along with being of sound mind and in top physical condition,” police wrote.
Police horse candidates go through a trial period where they are exposed to all environments within San Francisco prior to being selected. Gus and Duke galloped through the tough tests with flying colors.
Gus and Duke will supplement patrols all over the city, including along the Embarcadero, Marina Green, The Palace of Fine Arts, China Basin, McLaren Park, Castro Street, Japantown, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, and Pier 39.