MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation receives donation to acquire new horse, 'Athena'

NOW: MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation receives donation to acquire new horse, ’Athena’

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation has added a new horse to the herd after receiving a generous donation.

The news comes days after the foundation announced the death of retired Officer Prince, the longest-serving equine offer in the history of the MPD Mounted Patrol.

"Athena," the foundation's newest addition, comes from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She's a 5-year-old full Percheron, standing 16.1hh and weighing about 1,700 pounds.

The foundation says Calvin Lange made the donation in remembrance of his daughter, Patricia Ann Lange, who was an avid horse lover and the first woman to complete the Milwaukee Firefighter Academy.

The gift is also in honor of Calvin's grandson, Mark Wagner, a retired Milwaukee police sergeant who served on the Mounted Patrol Unit.

Officials with the foundation say Athena's addition will be a big part of the continuing mission to strengthen community relations through the police department. 

"The horses are the greatest asset to the police department. They're a great tool for communication and building a better relationship with the community," said Michelle Stinson, Executive Vice President of the MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation.

The foundation was created in 2019 to help maintain the needs of the mounted patrol unit.

"We started with a mission to provide any funds needed for items outside of the city's budget for the horses," said Stinson.

Athena will officially begin her training next week but has a long way to go before joining the ranks of the others.

"For probably the next couple years, Athena will be on the bench getting work part time until she becomes a full time horse that an officer will take out every day," said Sgt. Logan Jeffery, who is in charge of the mounted patrol unit.

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