“When I’m on my noble steed, Paul Gross’ Passchendaele – Passy for short – bandits better beware“, declared Sgt. Alex Cassidy, when asked what the purpose of the mounted units were. “With Passy, I’m more than two-and-a-half metres high, which gives me a unique perspective when searchin’ for shifty outlaws lookin’ to rob a train.”
An official report has revealed that it costs taxpayers $5.5 million a year to upkeep the Toronto Police mounted unit, to which Sgt. Cassidy defended the expense by stating that if Jesse James ever comes rollin’ into town, stopping him from robbing a northbound Yonge-University subway will be priceless.
“Besides, 5.5 mil is a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the over one billion dollar budget we get a year,” Sgt. Cassidy added.
In an interview with Const. Lori Wayne, Cassidy’s sidekick, at the O.K Corral on Spadina, the training to become part of the mounted unit is extensive. “First, they have to verify that you’re a horse girl with a power complex,” stated Const. Wayne, while applying a mustard plaster. “Then, you learn how to jump from horseback onto a moving train, twirl your gun before putting it into your holster, and enter saloons without the double-doors hitting you. The whole training takes somewhere between 6 months and a year to complete, which is double the amount of time that goes into learning de-escalation techniques.”
Const. Wayne then went on to explain that the only downside is the horses don’t like going down into the subway, through the carwash, or near streetcar tracks because their hooves often get stuck.
When asked if Sgt. Cassidy or any of his mounted units have ever actually stopped a train robbery, Sgt. Cassidy let out a sardonic laugh before launching into a first-hand account to which he called “The Great Train Heist of 2014.”
“Picture this – you’re a passenger on the GO Train, waving your lace fan and enjoying a gin phosphate,” began Sgt. Cassidy, while chewing tobacco. “You’re passin’ the wild, wild west of Kitchener-Waterloo, headed into the city. Suddenly, you hear some hootin’ and hollerin’. You look out the window to see a group of masked bandits mounting the train and yellin’ at you to STICK ‘EM UP! You gasp, clutching your pearls…”
According to an official witness statement, “the Great Train Heist of 2014” was when a commuter forgot to tap their Presto card.