Once known as the horse capital of the San Gabriel Valley, West Covina will provide two mounted police officers for the presidential inauguration in Washington later this month.
Cpl. David Barras and Reserve Officer Sharon Frasca-Williams and their horses, along with mounted officers from the Santa Monica Police Department, will be California's law enforcement representatives in the parade on Jan. 20, city officials said.
"I am extremely honored to be chosen," Frasca-Williams said. "I am a DARE instructor in West Covina schools. It's great to represent the citizens of West Covina, but it's also great to be able to bring home to my DARE students such an honor. It sends a message to them that if you work really hard you're unlimited in what you can do."
The two West Covina officers are able accept the invitation from the National Parks Police and inaugural committee because the City Council this week authorized the expenditure of up to $4,000 to transport them and their mounts to Washington, said Police Cmdr. Jim Dillon.
"Our mounted officers are quite well-known. When Sen. [Bob] Dole came they provided security for him," Dillon said. "West Covina has a famous equestrian center and is known for its horse tradition."
Since 1990, when the mounted division was formed, the number of police officers on horseback patrol has risen to eight.