Saratoga Springs says farewell to Jupiter, four-legged police officer

March 16, 2017 05:56 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Jupiter has seen it all.

Patrolling Caroline Street in the wee hours and handling crowd control for street fests, the 23-year-old former harness racer has been part of the police force for 14 years.

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His two-legged colleagues say the 1,200 pound horse's easy-going temperament has served the department well.

Like the time a guy felt compelled to flex his beer muscles, punching Jupiter.

"It didn't really faze Jupiter too much. He kind of just [turned as if to say], 'may I help you?' And that subject was taken into custody."

Jupiter has had a few partners through the years as he and former plow horse King Tut help with crowd control and public relations.

They all were at the barn Thursday to wish him well.

"When I really was new and didn't know what I was doing, he was always there for me. He made me look good," said Officer Glen Barrett.

"A lot of good times with him and he's been an excellent horse for us," said Officer John Sesselman, who is retiring this year.

But Jupiter's police career is over.

He's retiring and going back to the family that donated him to the city almost 15 years ago.

"He's going to have a nice, happy, healthy retirement back at his original home," Benware said.

He's being succeeded by another former harness horse who Division Street School 5th graders have re-named Apollo.

He was donated by Chuck Harrison.

"I just wanted a good home for him and I know he'll be taken care of for the rest of his life."

Jupiter will patrol Caroline Street for the last time Friday.

Apollo should be ready to go at the end of April.

For Jupiter, he'll head to retirement as we all aspire to, with the respect and admiration of our colleagues.

"He's always been a great partner," smiled Barrett.


Mark Mulholland

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