Once a week during the school year, Georgia Tech biology major Katie Geddes starts her morning meandering the paths of Grant Park and Zoo Atlanta on a horse belonging to the Atlanta Police Department (APD).
Geddes is a member of Georgia Tech’s club equestrian team, and she and several of her teammates also are honorary members of the APD’s mounted patrol. They are among the second group of students to be inducted from Tech’s equestrian team since 2010. Participating students are given honorary military sabers and badges at a ceremony with APD officers.
The program, which began in 2009 and is entirely student driven, benefits both groups — plus the horses. “We go out and ride the horses to keep them in shape and give them exercise when they’re not being used,” said Geddes. There are thirteen horses in the APD’s barn, and those that are not assigned to an officer still get necessary attention with the help of Tech’s equestrian team volunteers.
“It’s a great partnership we have,” said Kevin Cabral, an office with the APD’s mounted patrol unit. “The girls are all really nice and great riders, and we really appreciate them being around.”