Publisher’s Blog: Horses are crowd-pleasers in the ID… Equines get more attention than the police officers!

Meet Dozer, a horse. Dozer also works for the City of Seattle Police Department. See the badge he proudly displayed when he and his partner Harvest patrolled Uwajimaya’s storefront with Sgt. James Scott and Officer Mark Wubbena.

Young and old adored Dozer and Harvest. Some patted them, while many gathered around with phone cameras, curiosity and affection. I was surprised by how well Dozer and Harvest were behaving—they didn’t reject any of attention and handled it with discipline.

Why, horses? For our police department?

“If we (officers) were inside a patrol car, no one wants to talk to us,” said Sgt. Scott.

So it seems, with a horse, everything seems to be less intimidating: It is a way to introduce authority (and a friendly horse named Dozer!) to the people and community.

I learned that like how a police dog needs training, Dozer receives over a thousand hours of training. Scott said the department started Dozer’s training when he was about five years old. We use dogs because of their incredible sense of smell—to sniff suspicious objects or people (whether it’s drugs or if the suspect might be hoarding extra leftover chicken). But horses serve a different purpose.

“We use them for crowd control,” said Scott.

Remember the May 1 protests? Seattle police used horses to form a shield to stop the protesters from advancing and confining them.

Moving on to more serious topics: “Are these animals toilet trained?” I asked Scott.

Not really. Scott pointed to a bag he mounted on Dozer. There was a shovel inside and Scott is able to scoop up poop anytime. And he doesn’t mind doing it.

Dozer is 18 years old and Harvest 11. The mounting patrol will be in Chinatown/International District, Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market from Wednesday to Saturday once a day for the next 9 weeks.

The Seattle Police Foundation funded the mounting patrol in addition to other programs. A fundraising breakfast for the Seattle Police Foundation will be held on Sept. 8 at the Seattle Sheraton. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will speak.

Victory vs. defeat

Albert Shen’s appointment as national deputy director of  the Minority Business Development Agency, a division of the U.S. Dept of Commerce, has been inciting much excitement in our community.

Political guru Ruth Woo asked Joan Yoshitomi and LaVerne Lamoureux to organize a farewell party for Shen last week at Amber Lounge before he started his new position in D.C.

It was packed. The noise, applause, laughter and enthusiasm of the crowd was a contrast to his two fundraising events for the Seattle City Council seat—when there were much smaller crowds and not much fanfare. Where were these folks at the going-away party when Albert was running for office last year?

The reverberation and example of these two events are apparent. As one Chinese proverb reflects, it’s easy to be “icing on the cake” and “basking in the glory of someone’s success” vs. offering timely and critical support, and “providing coal to someone who’s in need during a cold winter.”

Albert is always cheerful and optimistic, and I can tell he harbors no bitterness from the time he lost his campaign, while constantly fighting for his engineering firm and supporting other minority contractors. His political campaign brought him visibility and recognition. The White House recognizes leadership, talents and smarts. See where he landed? We couldn’t be more proud!

Power couple reunites in Seattle

After serving seven years as president at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Cheryl Roberts is the new president of Shoreline Community College. Shoreline is one of the most diverse community colleges, with 55 percent enrollment of minority students.

A former Seattleite, Roberts grew up in Tacoma. Her father, LeRoy Roberts, Jr., was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and a decorated African-American fighter pilot in WWII. Her mother was an academic librarian.

Roberts graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She earned a master of arts in student personnel administration in higher education from the Ohio State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University.

Her husband R. Miller Adams is general counsel and executive vice president at Boeing and also president of the board of Rainier Club. (end)

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