West Virginia teen who wants to be a police officer donates horse to Ohio police

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ST. MARYS, WV (WCMH) — A teenager with dreams of a career in law enforcement is already making a difference for the Columbus Division of Police.

Two months ago, 13-year-old Ben Wagstaff emailed several police agencies in multiple states to see if his 4-year-old draft horse Sam could become a police horse. Wagstaff’s inquiry did not go unnoticed.

“Normally, we’re looking for donations,” Sgt. Bob Forsythe with the Columbus Division of Police Mounted Unit said. “We don’t have people coming to us saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got horses.’”

Sgt. Forsythe said CPD’s Mounted Unit retired two horses recently.

“We like to keep a certain amount of horses for what we do, so we came down and took a look at him,” he said.

On Tuesday, CPD’s Mounted Unit made it official. Officers and Legend, a horse who currently serves in the Mounted Unit, traveled to West Virginia and made Sam part of the CPD family.

“I’m happy and sad at the same time ‘cuz he’s leaving,” Wagstaff said. “I know he’s going to be in good hands.”

Sam will be one of 11 horses serving in the Mounted Unit. Sgt. Forsythe said Sam will need about 6 to 12 months of training, but he is confident Sam will make an excellent addition to the unit. Sgt. Forsythe even told Wagstaff he could visit Sam any time he wants.

“I’m very proud of him,” Wagstaff’s mother, Jessica Owens-Wagstaff, said of her son. “He’s raised him from a colt. It’s his goal that he could go and be something more than just a farm horse.”

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