So, about a week ago, the Bethlehem police horses sent us an e-mail asking if we could set up their twitter account since they can’t text well due to having… hooves. So, we obliged, and made it so that they could text easily and say what was on their minds.
We expected them to tweet about how they love children and carrots.
Hey, we still loved them anyway.
They tweeted happily for a few days before the Bethlehem Police Department got wind of it and sent us a cease and desist notification today and we took down their logos and pictures and the horses pouted.
THEN the Morning Call got wind of THAT and got all the facts straight.
In case anyone thought they saw one of Bethlehem’s police horses clomping out a text message as they strolled through Musikfest, let the record be clear: A Twitter account purporting to be written by the four-legged patrolmen is fake.
The account, @BthlehemHorsePD, was started by the local blog LehighValleywithLove.com as a joke because of the popularity of the mounted unit, according to an e-mail from the blog. The messages are written as though from the horses on duty, one of which was assaulted last year by a ‘fest-goer.
“If anyone punches one of us this year. We’re ready. Just finished Taser training with our human cop buddies!” read one of the first messages, posted Aug. 5.
“Being a police horse isn’t easy. We don’t even get donuts, just glazed carrots. Cheapskates,” another read.
The police department caught wind of the parody Monday, said Donna Mugavero of Sheer Brick Studio, who manages the mounted unit’s online social media. Mugavero said Capt. John Sarnicky, head of the mounted unit, brought it to her attention.
“We would appreciate it if they wouldn’t present themselves as if they were us,” Mugavero said, referencing some actual photographs of city horses and officers. “I’m worried about the confusion.”
Sarnicky did not return a call about the dust-up. The horses declined to comment: “Neigh.”
Mugavero, or @MsInformation, said she sent a message asking the city’s images be removed. About an hour later they were replaced with ones that showed a police horse eating a giant carrot, plus a few jabs.
“This is Horseism!” one post read.
“Ignore the neighsayers! I like your horsey anecdotes and a lot of other people do, too,” a reader posted.
Mugavero started an official mounted unit Twitter account to counter the parody; you can find the real horses at @BethlehemMPU. No word on whether they prefer the Blackberry or the iPhone.
In all seriousness, Twitter policy states parody accounts must clearly identify themselves as fake and not representing the actual person or organization — or in this case, patrol horses.
If an account does not follow the rules, is can be shut down, the policy states.
Jeez what a freaking horse poop storm!
All we wanted to do was to give the horses a place to vent about their time during Musikfest .
No, we aren’t mad at them, we just wish they could have MAYBE kept the cursing to a minimum, but hey, can you blame them? Musikfest is a time for the horseys to shine. Hopefully, we can all continue to get along and move forward.
But, if those horses that pull all the people around during Christmas time want our help, we’re going to think twice.