NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - One look should tell you Detective John Boyd Reilly and his partner aren't your usual NYPD cops. Reilly's partner eats all the time, to the tune of 25,000 calories a day.
We went into their police precinct, or stable if you will, in Midtown at the luxurious Mercedes House, home of the NYPD's Mounted Unit, which was established in 1858.
Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman commands this unit of officers, half human, half equine. The stables cost about the same as the swanky apartments upstairs. His horse even has a name placard. Nonetheless, Gelbman said horses are a lot less expensive than police cars.
For Reilly, his partner Trooper allows him to be more approachable. But it is not just about PR. Being on Trooper allows Reilly to see further, a benefit put to use just recently while on patrol in Central Park. The elevated vantage point helped Reilly see a man exposing himself on a lawn. He was able to send in foot cops.
Officer Pamela Bond showed us how she prepares her partner Torch. While other police units might be held up in traffic, she and her partner may be first on the scene.
In all, the NYPD has 55 horses. Like their neighbors on Broadway, they come to New York as adults and audition. The NYPD only keeps horses that are calm and friendly given their level of interaction with the public. The horses end up playing such a crucial role in policing and community relations that their dedicated partners don't mind it when their buddy wants to eat all day.