Officer Justice Gets His Badge

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Officer Justice, the Arcadia police horseJustice was named by a local 5th grade studentAlthough the role of police horses has diminished in some American cities thanks to budget cuts, that’s not true in Arcadia, California. The Los Angeles suburb has a thriving mounted unit, and now it also has a new equine member. His name is Justice, though that moniker could be considered an alias. You see, the 9-year-old American Quarter Horse was originally christened as Jonas. At least that’s what his previous owners called him when his primary duties were trail riding and galloping around gymkhana courses. But when Bruce Smith, an Arcadia police officer, was looking for an additional horse for the mounted patrol unit, Jonas seemed like a perfect candidate. He was quiet, gentle, well-broke, and the perfect size and color: a solid 16 hands and a handsome bay. What wasn’t perfect was his name. It was decided that the horse needed a name more befitting a police horse. Plus, the city wanted to promote good rapport between the police department and the general public. What better way than to hold a “Name That Horse” contest throughout the local elementary schools?

Fifth-grader Monica Baerg was the one who came up with the name of Justice, which was deemed the best from all the entries. Now, Jonas is officially known as Officer Justice. Monica received a special commemorative halter with a brass nameplate for her creativity, and the Arcadia Mounted Enforcement Team now has Justice on its side.

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