Tag Archives: Bethlehem Mounted Patrol Unit


From left: George, Raven, Pharaoh


2012 is here! Along with the new year comes the anticipated completion of the 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, Friends of the Bethlehem Mounted Police. A non-profit organization allows us to provide donors and sponsors with a tax-deductible donation center that is overseen by a board of directors. The current budget through the City of Bethlehem for the care of the horses is near $12,000. We anticipate that with the upcoming budget for 2012, the Mounted Patrol Unit will see a 50% or more reduction in the operational funding for the Unit along with the total elimination of our training budget. While the Mounties can train their horses for next to no money with the equipment they already have, it is essential that money be raised to help fund the care of the horses. Unless funds are raised to cover the remaining costs the Unit will be funded until the Spring of 2012. At that time, our Unit’s status will be undecided.

Here’s how you can help.

Have a sweet spot for Pharaoh? Does George tickle your fancy? Is Raven the horse for you? The horses need your help! The Mounted Patrol Unit is currently seeking sponsors for our new Adopt-A-Horse program. With the current economic climate and the shrinking municipal budget the members of the unit have developed a sponsorship program to defer the cost of the caring for our partners from the tax payers. Without you or your company’s help we may not be able to afford continuing this program due to budget reductions. Estimated annual costs for the shoeing, feeding, and vetting of our horses is approximately $5,000 per horse. If you, your family, or your company is interested in a sponsorship, we can provide you with the following as a thanks for the sponsorship.

A Sponsor will receive the following:

  • A memento plaque containing a picture of the horse in full patrol dress and a worn horseshoe used on patrol.
  • A sponsor plaque that will be displayed on the horse’s stall at Johnson Barn, Burnside Plantation.
  • A special mention on our website in a section commending our donors as a friend of the Bethlehem Mounted Police, community partner and horse sponsor.

Every donation and sponsorship is 100% tax deductible through The Friends of the Bethlehem Mounted Police. The estimated operational date of the non-profit is January 2012 in anticipation of our Adopt-A-Horse program. Should you have any questions or are interested in the program feel free to contact us at mountedpatrol@bethlehem-pa.gov. With a sponsorship of one of Bethlehem’s favorite horses, you or your company can allow our City to remain unique and diverse, both in its culture and its available community services.

Quick Facts:

  1. The cost of fuel for Police vehicles in the 2011 budget was $250,000.
  2. The cost of care for three police horses in the 2011 budget was $11,175 with $2,500 for training and equipment.
  3. The budgeted amount for fuel for Police vehicles for 2012 is $225,000.
  4. The cost of care for three police horses covered by the City of Bethlehem for 2012 is $6,000 with no money set aside for training.

Movie in the Meadow: Seabiscuit

Thanks to Movies in the Park and support from the Downtown Bethlehem Association (DBA), we are able to host a family fun night, featuring the movie Seabiscuit, in an outdoor screening in the upper field at Burnside Plantation.

We’ve selected the popular horse-themed movie to show on Friday, May 20th  Saturday, May 21st. (Please note that the event has been changed from Friday the 20th.) Burnside Plantation, where the horses are stabled, provides the perfect location for this event, and we’re grateful to the Historic Bethlehem Preservation Society for the venue. Beginning at 7 pm, we will host a meet-and-greet for attendees. People can pet horses Raven, George, and Pharaoh and have their pictures taken with them, as well as take a little barn tour.

“Our horses love events like this,” says Officer Jon Buskirk, whose partner is Pharaoh, an eight-year-old American Quarterhorse. “Pharaoh will actually follow children around, begging for attention!” he says.

Movie night at Burnside Plantation will feature free popcorn and parking for attendees, and food, Mounted Unit t-shirts, hats, and other items available for purchase. “We’re working very hard right now to raise funds so we can keep this program going,” says Buskirk.

We rely on our “Wish Fund” for monies to purchase gear, attend special events like extra training seminars and conferences, and provide care for the horses. Additionally, we are in the process of soliciting sponsorships that may enable us to purchase a horse trailer so we can transport Raven, George and Pharaoh to events not within riding distance.

What: Movies in the Park screening of Seabiscuit
Where: Burnside Plantation, Bethlehem PA
When: Saturday, May 21, 2011. Meet-and-Greet beginning at 7:00pm. Movie beginning around dusk.
Other Details: Parking for free at Burnside Plantation, movie screening free, popcorn free, other food available for purchase, Bethlehem Mounted Unit items for sale, donations for Mounted Unit program accepted.

We hope to see you there! You can share this post with friends or our Facebook Events post here.

Here’s the trailer if you’re unfamiliar with the movie.

Parade of Shamrocks 2011

Some scenes from our participation in Bethlehem’s first St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – Parade of Shamrocks.

A Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

We have super Valentine’s Day news for you! We’re offering four Valentine gifts, courtesy of Rich-Mar Florist. When you purchase one of these gifts for your sweetheart, you’ll also send some love to the ponies! Rich-Mar is only charging us for the cost of your gift. The rest of your dollars go to support George, Raven and Pharaoh!

Here’s how this works:

1. Choose your gift and place your order with us.
We are taking orders now through Tuesday, February 8th. The four gifts are listed below with item name and the price. Send us an email at mountedpatrol@bethlehem-pa.gov and be sure to list the following:

• Your full name
• Phone number, cell phone is preferred
• Item or items and how many you’d like

2. Pay for your gift.
As soon as you place your order, please send a check to:

Bethlehem Police Department
Mounted Patrol Unit
10 East Church Street
Bethlehem, PA, 18018

Make your check payable to Bethlehem Mounted Patrol Unit Wish Fund. Be sure to put Valentine Fundraiser on the check.
(We are looking into an online payment option and will let you know if we set that up.)

3. Pick up your gift.
We will have all items ready for pickup on the 13th and 14th. Do NOT pickup at Rich-Mar. Here are the two dates and pick-up locations:

Sunday, February 13th, you can pick up at Sheer Brick Studio from 1 to 4 in the afternoon. The studio is located at the corner of West Broad and Guetter Streets (above Ripper’s and across from Starfish).

Monday, February 14th, you can pick up at the Town Hall rotunda at Payrow Plaza from 3 to 7.

Your gift will include a special gift card so your sweetheart knows that the gift is from you and the ponies, too.


Valentine Mylar Balloon Bunch

Valentine Vase Arrangement

A Dozen Red Roses Boxed

A Dozen Red Roses Arranged

Your gift will be created by:


If you have any questions, do not contact Rich-Mar … please call Donna at Sheer Brick Studio during business hours at 610-866-5190. We hope you can participate in this Valentine’s Day fundraiser and spread some love!

Photo Caption Contest – July 26th edition

Our caption competition started Friday, July 23rd. You can see all the entries at our Facebook caption page. The photo shows Officer Jon Buskirk with Pharaoh while Greg Sfredda, the farrier, gives him a new pair of shoes. The photo was taken at the paddock at Burnside Plantation during a demonstration at the Blueberry Festival.

Another wonderful group of entries! Here’s who won:

Our winner:
“Now that he’s occupied, tell me the truth: do I REALLY look as good in this hat as he says I do?”
from Sara Anders Miller

“Greg, are you SURE those shoes won’t clash with my hat?”
from Cheryl Reitz

Special law-enforcement honorable mention:
Hey Greg, like my new hat…No, ehh you’re just pulling my leg.”
from Jon Buskirk

Congratulations to our winning participants! Good work, everyone, and many thanks to all the entrants.

[Note: If you click the photo above, you will see a larger version.]

Photo Caption Contest – July 1st edition

Our fourth caption competition started Monday, June 28th. You can see all 25 entries at our Facebook caption page. The photo shows Officer Timothy Brooks with Raven at training week at the Pennsylvania State Police facility in Hershey. This was part of the desensitization exercises that included frisbees, tennis balls, a pink tarp, a mattress, a mailbox, a neon-colored coat, a dumpster, puddles of water, a football sled and even hula hoops.

What a great group of entries! We were, however, unanimous in our choice of a winner. We also have a few runners-up.

Our winner:
— from Tomm Stu

First runner-up:
“Ah…ooo la la…is zis what ze French horses wear when they’re learning dressage?…a plastic beret…es the new haute couture, Oui?”
— from Thalia Camp

Second runner-up:
“Raven was not too pleased to stand in for Hole 19 at the Police Department’s annual disc golf tournament.”
— from George Wacker

Congratulations to our winning participants! Super job, everyone, and many thanks to all the entrants.

[Note: If you click the photo above, you will see a larger version.]

Raven keeps his cool

Officer Timothy Brooks and Raven ace a pool noodle desensitization exercise at Burnside Plantation.

Footage: Jan Egner, trainer