Smash Girls big hit with NYPD, soon to be the subject of a book

Tom Kennedy

The Smash Girls continue making a name for themselves.

Not only did they appear at the November general membership meeting of the Houston Police Officers Union holding a bake sale to benefit Smash, the HPD Mounted Patrol’s first and only deaf horse, but they also will be the subject of a book by Houston author Alicia Richardson.

The girls consist of five girls – all of them “best friends” – who were born with an intellectual disability but with a natural love of animals and pets of all varieties. Several years ago the girls “adopted” Smash because he, too, had a handicap that he was overcoming.

The Smash Girls continue to gain national attention for the devotion to Smash. They regularly groom the HPD horse at the Mounted Patrol barn on the Northeast side.

Not only is Smash the only deaf police horse in the nation, he also is likely the only one with his own website.

The girls tend to his needs and also attended a March meeting in Houston of the North American Mounted Unit Commanders Association (NAMUCA), hosted by the HPD Mounted Patrol Unit. The girls actively participated in the program, which was designed to provide mounted unit commanders an opportunity to share experience and information about the delivery of professional mounted services to law enforcement organizations and communities.

The event resulted in HPD’s mounted counterpart in New York City to invite the girls to come to the Big Apple and take in its mounted unit as special guests.

The invitation was extended by the NYPD’s top brass in the form of Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman, commander of the NYPD Mounted Unit. Gelbman came through by treating the girls like queens of the city.

Gelbman and his officers met the girls at the airport and brought them to the NYPD mounted patrol facilities for a tour. Each girl got to ride an NYPD horse before lunch and a tour of New York Harbor.

HPOU Board Member Rebecca Dallas and Officer Meredith Villarreal went along, serving as chaperones, according to Kim Richards, a Smash Girl mom and sponsor. “We were treated like royalty, there’s no doubt,” Dallas said. “The girls didn’t get by without seeing anything in New York they wanted to see.”

Richards quoted author Richardson’s plan to write a book about Smash and his girls. She said Richards, who writes under the name Artemis Greenleaf, wants to write a non-fiction book for younger readers and believes the story of a deaf police horse “will be uplifting and inspirational.”

Richards said Richardson already has the department’s go-ahead and plans both an E book and print editions. It should be out next spring.