HPD horses likely bound for Big Isle
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
After two years in post-retirement limbo, Honolulu Police Department veterans Chief Lee, Cruiser, Scout, Kuhio, Trooper, Justice and Cinbad are one trot closer to finding a permanent home.
Pending approval by the City Council, the former Mounted Patrol Unit horses will head out to pasture at Keawewai Ranch on the Big Island.
The Mounted Patrol Unit was discontinued in 2008 and the horses have since been housed, at taxpayer expense, at a ranch in Waimanalo.
Under the new arrangement, coordinated by the City and County of Honolulu and HPD, the horses will be transported to the care of Keawewai Ranch and owner Chandi Duke Heffner, the adopted daughter of the late Doris Duke.
"We've been working very hard over the past several months to come up with a creative solution that will provide a suitable and healthy environment for the horses," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in a statement released yesterday. "We are especially glad that the horses will be able to remain together and enjoy a well-deserved retirement after serving the department and the community so well for many years."
For the transaction to meet city guidelines, the ranch had to submit the plan as a gift offering. The City Council still must approve the transaction before the horses can be transported and before the cost of their care can come off HPD's books.
Hannemann spokesman Bill Brennan said a council decision is "imminent."
Brennan said an HPD committee visited the ranch to ensure that it would be a safe and healthy environment for the horses.
The HPD Mounted Patrol Unit was disbanded in 2008 due to rising costs.
All-terrain vehicles now perform the duties the horses once did in O'ahu's parks and on its beaches.