With a nod to the Old West, the Fort Worth Police Mounted Patrol officially opened its new administrative and equine facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony Dec. 17.
Located in northwest Fort Worth along North Las Vegas Trail, the equestrian complex houses both offices and stables for the Mounted Patrol unit. The Citizens Support Group for the Fort Worth Mounted Patrol raised $3.7 million from private individuals to pay for the cost of the facility. The new structure replaces an outdated facility that was inadequate for both the horses and the officers, according to city officials.
The facility, designed by Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford, features 5,600 square feet of office space and 17,000 square feet of conditioned barn space, locker rooms, a community room and exhibit space. The complex is situated in a rural area with pasture and horse runs adjacent to the building to ensure the horses perform their best, according to David Stanford, principal designer.
“Not only does the Mounted Patrol serve an important operational function in fighting crime and protecting people and property, but it also remains an important symbol of our city’s rich culture and history,” said Mayor Betsy Price. Fort Worth’s mounted patrol began in the late 1970s in response to transient problems occurring in the historic Stockyards area. There was also a desire on the part of residents of the North Side to see an officer on horseback both as a working police officer and as a reminder of the city’s Western heritage. Today, mounted teams of officers can always be seen in the Stockyards area as well as other sections of the city as needed. The Fort Worth Mounted Unit conducts training in riot and crowd control every month and is ready to assemble at any time, with the help of SWAT and other crowd-control officers, to help deal with any problem.
In 1987, a volunteer group, the Citizens Support Group for the Mounted Patrol, was organized. The organization’s initial support started with an eight-stall barn provided by the North Fort Worth Business Association, with eight additional stalls being added in 1990. The new equestrian facility was designed and built to meet the growing need for updated amenities that the existing venue lacked. SEDALCO Construction Services served as general contractor on the project.
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