CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati's Mounted Patrol was shut down when funding failed to emerge during the last budget cycle. The equipment has since been stored and the horses have found new pastures.
FOX19 spoke with members of the former unit about the disbandment.
One member, Ingrid Weber, is currently battling thyroid cancer; a diagnosis she learned of not long after the unit was closed.
"Ingrid, she has a smile on her face," Husband Chris Weber said. "She's always laughing, always smiling, very approachable. Just something you expect to see in an officer up on a horse."
"Her love for horses, her passion for horses is incredible," former Mounted Patrol Officer Roberta Utechet echoed.
When Ingrid found out the unit was being cut her husband says she was sad and upset.
"She was thinking they could have found some money somewhere to keep the unit going," Chris said.
The city offered to turn the horses over to their riders when the program shut down. Ingrid kept her horse along with the two others retired to her pastures that she had worked with during her time on Mounted Patrol.
"They all went with the officers, they all have great homes," Roberta said. "They're all well cared for. That was the agreement when we signed the paperwork to take our individual horses."
For Roberta, her horse is now at Diamond Oaks. In the end, all of the riders were transferred to other jobs within the department.
"I hope it comes back," Chris staid of the unit. "I think it'd be a great tool. I think a lot of people miss it. A lot of people ask 'Where are the horses?"'
More than hope for the city's future, the horses are hope for the Webers; a symbol of hope for Ingrid who is fighting her battle daily to get back on the horse, back in the saddle, and back on the force.
"Since she was diagnosed with her cancer things have changed. She's not able to get out and see her horses like she was," Chris said. "She wants to get back to work. She really loves her job and it's just been kind of hard on her."
During a visit with the horses Friday, Ingrid was resting and unable to speak with FOX19.
"We have a rough road ahead of us still so hopefully we can beat this cancer," Chris said.
In addition to Ingrid's time with Cincinnati Police, Chris is a 20 year veteran of the Cheviot Police Department. Officers from both agencies are planning a benefit to help offset some of the financial strain that arrived with the diagnosis.
"It brings her spirits up knowing so many people care about her," Chris said of the visits from friends and colleagues.
"It's a blue line, it's family," Roberta told FOX19.
She says officers simply take care of their own, whether that means the partners in need of new pastures or the ones that have lead the patrols.
The "party and benefit" is being held at the Cheviot Memorial Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. on October 12th. All are invited to attend.
According to the event flyer, tickets are $10.