The MKE Urban Stables will be the first of its kind, in this country, to combine police mounted patrol headquarters with an equine-assisted therapy program. The stable houses 24 horses, half of which will be part of the mounted patrol, and the other half will assist in equine therapy and educational outreach programs, benefiting veterans and area schools. The 27,200-square-foot-facility includes indoor and outdoor riding arenas, community outreach room, and offices for both the therapeutic riding operation and the mounted patrol.
The Urban Stables will place a high priority on community outreach, which is an important goal of the MPD. The relationship between police officers and community members is a subject of growing importance. The new Milwaukee Urban Stables will create an approachable atmosphere for building those relationships. A partnership with Zablocki VA Hospital will provide Equine-Assisted Therapy for veterans and those with special needs. With a primary goal of treating trauma, Equine-Assisted Therapy utilizes engagement with and movements of a horse as a sensory input for riders and caregivers. Programs date back to the 1960s and have been used to address autism, cerebral palsy, PTSD, addictions, arthritis, MS, head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders, and psychiatric disorders. The facility will also offer outreach education programs that are expected to reach 5,000 students per year. Students from Hamilton High School will have the chance to volunteer at the Stables. Hamilton High School currently has the highest number of students with special needs in the state. Through access to the facility’s programming, students will benefit from therapy that addresses trauma and the emotional healing benefits that they provide.