As the Philadelphia Police Department welcomes its five newest members, officers will also remember five former ones.
Horses Stephen, Santiago, Pat, Tiny Tim and Johnny will join the force as part of the department’s expanding mounted unit. They’re named for officers who’ve died in the line of duty since 2008.
“Commissioner Ramsey thought it was appropriate,” Lt. Ray Evers said of the names, which he said may change slightly.
The equine recruits are named for Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, who died May 3, 2008; Officer Isabel Nazario (nee Santiago), who died Sept. 5, 2008; Sgt. Patrick McDonald, who died Sept. 23, 2008; Sgt. Timothy Simpson, who died Nov. 7, 2008; and Officer John Pawlowski, who died Feb. 13, 2009. The names used for the horses were suggested by the deceased officers’ family members, Evers told NewsWorks.
The horses — the first in what could be as many as 12 by the end of the year — were adopted from the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, and previously served in Newark, N.J.’s, now-disbanded mounted unit. They’re currently housed at White Pine Farm in Richboro.
“I know they’re working on a site,” Evers said of blueprints for a stable. It’s expected to be located on Chamounix Drive in Fairmount Park, where equestrian facilities are already set up.
As for the names for future horse, Evers said he isn’t sure if the department plans to continue the tradition of honoring fallen officers. Other cities, he said, have named horses after police commissioners, or based on ideas from school children.