RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police has a new member on its force – a horse in the department’s Mounted Unit — after completing months of training.
Aslan is the department’s newest – and youngest — horse at 3-years-old, replacing a horse named Rio, who retired in December.
Aslan is a Percheron/thoroughbred mix. He was trained at Asbury University in Lexington, Kentucky and after meeting him in November, RPD’s Mounted Unit decided he would be a good fit for Richmond.
“He’s an interesting character.,” says Amanda Acuff, RPD Mounted Unit. “He’s kind of in his teenage years so he wants to do things his way but he does listen and he’s very trusting of us.”
Acuff has spent the last couple of months getting Aslan ready for patrolling the streets.
He’s learned how to dodge obstacles in the streets, walk through a hanging flag from above, approach a person to try and stop them and respond to a police cruiser.
Acuff says horses are a good way for officers to go into alleys or off-road into the woods – where cars cannot.
She adds the most important way to get a horse ready for the force is to gain their trust.
“All of us have ridden him, which is one of the requirements.,” Acuff said of Aslan. “We were all assigned a horse, however, we need to be able to ride all the other horses. Everybody has gotten on him and done a great job and he’s trusted everybody so far.”