1987 ~ 2007
In Loving Memory of 'Skylar'
'Skylar, Rutgers’ newest police horse
Archived article from Sep 20, 2004
By Pam Orel
There’s no paycheck – just free meals and new shoes every few weeks. Nevertheless, the newest member of the Rutgers University Mounted Patrol, a 17-year-old police horse, seems to love his new job.Skylar, a Cleveland Bay cross breed, served most of his life in public safety in the city of Camden police force, where prior to his retirement he was assigned such urban duties as crowd control, parades and security details at concerts.His crowd-control experience should prove helpful this year, as the group takes on new duties in the fields around the Rutgers Stadium during home football games in addition to working on the Cook and Douglass campuses.
The student-run mounted patrol, the last such patrol in the country, has monitored fields and walkways on two campuses for more than 30 years.Skylar’s journey to Rutgers began last winter, when Rosemarie McCoy, mother of patrol supervisor Marina McCoy and a member of the Camden County law enforcement community, heard about Skylar from a contact in a professional association. Marina knew the animal’s intensive police training would be useful to the patrol, which was sending one of its own three horses to retirement this year.“Skylar is the first police horse donated to the patrol in recent memory,” said Marina McCoy. “Police horses are trained for weeks at a time to get them used to working in large crowds and to noises, like emergency sirens. He was an excellent match for our needs.”
Skylar officially retired from his role with the city of Camden this summer. He passed a physical and was delivered to the barns and pastures of the Cook campus, where he spent the summer adjusting to his new surroundings as well as his new stablemates, Martin and Ingin, the other two patrol horses. “Skylar is an excellent animal, with a gentle disposition and valuable training, and this department is very grateful to the city of Camden police for this generous donation,” said Daniel Pascale, commander of the patrol. The Rutgers University Mounted Patrol includes more than a dozen students who must complete a 40-hour course in security techniques and pass a proficiency test in equine skills. They work evenings, seven nights a week, when classes are in session. The patrol is part of the Rutgers Community Service Officer (CSO) division, a group of more than 100 trained Rutgers students who provide a wide range of security services.
Read more about Skylar here. What a tragic loss for the Rutgers Mounted Patrol.