Mounted Police Officer Sean Lonergan

Hawthorne resident Sean Lonergan, chief mounted officer of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.

Are there any other mounted units in the county other than yours?
Mount Vernon has one and White Plains used to, but it was disbanded last spring. I don’t know why.

Is there anything you can’t do in the line of duty while on horseback?
We can’t transport someone we apprehend back to a police station—we call for a patrol car—but we can do most
everything else without dismounting, including write tickets, handcuff, and search suspects above the waist area.

Do you ride in the rain and snow?
We ride three-hundred sixty-five days a year—and the horses, because they get a thick winter coat, fare a lot better in the cold weather than we do.

How has riding affected you physically?
I’m definitely in better shape now. I have muscles that I never knew existed before, particularly in my calves and thighs.

Ever play cowboys and Indians growing up?
Actually, we played cops and robbers—and I was both of them, depending on the day.

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photo by John rizzo

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