After serving honorably for seven years patrolling some of Los Angeles' biggest events -- the Dodgers and Lakers celebrations, and Hollywood Halloween, Duke, the LAPD horse in the department's mounted unit, is retiring and ready for his next chapter.
He'll be helping officers recover from trauma in equine therapy at First Responders First, an in-patient treatment facility which serves first responders battling addiction, PTSD, and other disorders.
"He's going to continue serving the law enforcement community by helping those of our brothers and sisters that have had trouble with substance abuse, PTSD and the other underlying factors that create mental trauma," said Eric Rivas, the director admissions and retired police sergeant with 29 years of service in the Southern California area.
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Eric Coffey, who rode Duke during patrols over the years, will miss the 21-year-old horse.
"He's been through everything as far as la is concerned, Dodgers Game 7, Lakers, this, that and everything in between," Coffey said at a news conference at LAPD's mounted unit stables in Atwater Village, known as the Barn. "This is the sports car of horses. If you want to go fast and around cones real fast, stop real fast on a dime, this is your horse. He's really agile, a fun ride."