- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - The newest member of the Detroit Police Department got a buzz cut. Then his boss got on his back for a ceremonial ride.

“He looks professional,” Sgt. Eric Eide told the small crowd Sunday. “Like a police officer, not a show horse.”

Hoosier, a big, black, 7-year-old horse raised in Lafayette, Indiana, joined the Detroit mounted patrol after weeks of getting familiar with the big city. The department held a ceremony at a stable and also introduced two officers, Kevin King and Jerrod Willis, who earned their spurs.

Detroit uses five horses to patrol neighborhoods and big public events, such as parades, protests and professional sports. Private donations pay for their food and care.

“They’re good for crowd control,” Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said. “When people see a horse as big as these, they calm down.”

Sgt. Eric Eide stood on a milk crate and shaved the horse’s mane, a tradition when a new horse joins the force. The horse’s name was Landmark but, due to another police tradition, Eide changed it to Hoosier.

He will be a police horse for four or five years before he’s returned to Emily Clawson, who raised Hoosier, a Percheron, from age 2.

“He’s like one of my own children,” Clawson, 34, said. “This breed is strong and has a lot of endurance. He’s going to be part of a cool job.”

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