Mounted Unit honours veterans and presents badge to Police Service Horse Anzio
Today, Police Service Horse (PSH) Anzio will be presented with a badge in a ceremony that honours those who fought in the Battle of Anzio during the Second World War.
The Calgary Police Service has a deep connection to our veterans, and as a way to honour their service, in 2016, the CPS Mounted Unit began naming each new Police Service Horse (PSH) after battles fought by Canadian soldiers. Currently, the Unit consists of five horses, including PSHs Vimy, Ortona, Dieppe, Normandy and the most recent addition, Anzio.
“This is an important tradition for our members,” says Inspector Gerry Francois for the CPS Support Section. “We have a large number of CPS members who have previously served or have a connection to the armed forces and we feel it is our duty to recognize their service and sacrifices, not just this week, but every day of the year.”
The Battle of Anzio occurred in 1944 during the Italian Campaign of the Second World War. Canadian soldiers serving in the First Special Service Force, participated in the four-month conflict.
PSH Anzio is a 6-year-old Percheron Standardbred cross who came to CPS untrained, yet, displayed the basic traits and characteristics required to succeed in a policing environment. Over the past year of his intense training, PSH Anzio has exceeded training expectations and is now ready to hit the streets in an operational capacity.
The CPS Mounted Unit was first formed in 1910 and ran until approximately 1939 when the Second World War began. The Mounted Unit, as it exists today, was re-formed in 1979. In addition to the traditional ceremonial duties, our Mounted Unit has evolved significantly to meet the crime management needs of our city.
Today, members of the Mounted Unit are instrumental in searching remote areas that are difficult to access by foot or vehicle, including parks, pathways and riverbanks, to locate missing persons, offenders evading police and evidence that may have been discarded. In a recent investigation, officers on horseback covered a 60-kilometer search area per team, per day.
Due to their tall stature, officers on horseback can also provide a unique perspective for our officers and are used daily in patrols of residential and commercial areas, as well as in crowd management situations.