|United States Park Police Officer Honored by Women in Federal Law Enforcement Association
Mariea Clowers wins service award
WASHINGTON, DC: United States Park Police Officer Mariea Clowers has received the Public Service Recognition Award from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Association. Clowers was recognized for her 23 years of service to the Washington, DC, community, most of them as a member of the National Park Service’s Horse Mounted Patrol Unit, in which she has been a leader. During her career, Clowers has worked to improve mounted policing worldwide by providing instruction and program evaluation to mounted units from outside the United States.
“Mariea exemplifies a well-rounded police officer. She protects people and hallowed places, and, in her work with fellow police officers, she carries out the educational mission of the National Park Service. She is an inspiring leader for women in law enforcement and has more than earned this recognition,” said Jonathan Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service.
“She’s one of the best assets we have,” commented Sal Lauro, Chief of the U.S. Park Police.
“I am honored to receive this award and to work for the Horse Mounted Patrol Unit of the United States Park Police,” said Clowers. “In my career, I get to serve my country, help other people, and take advantage of some amazing opportunities. Plus, my coworkers—human and equine—are terrific.”
Clowers joined the U.S. Park Police in 1987 and transferred to the Mounted Patrol in 1991. Since the 1934 creation of the Mounted Patrol, the U.S. Park Police have used the horses for urban patrols, backcountry patrols, high-visibility patrols of iconic memorials, and crowd management at many demonstrations in the nation’s capital. Clowers became the first female Mounted Patrol instructor for the U.S. Park Police in 1998. Patrolling and teaching, however, are just a few of her duties.
Every day, Clowers trains, evaluates, cares for, and manages upwards of 50 horses. She manages the unit’s barn and assesses all potential donations. The latter role requires her to perform on-site reviews of the conformation, health, temperament, soundness, and manners of horses with varied pasts and to check their medical history. Her experience in horsemanship allows her to make informed decisions about the suitability of mounts before the government invests large sums of taxpayer dollars in training horses.
Clowers also serves as the liaison to the veterinarians and farriers hired by the U.S. Park Police. Her evaluation of purchasing, contracts, and new-product selection has steadily decreased operational costs while maintaining a high level of operational readiness. For example, her decision to change a product used in shoeing procedures had no effect on the costs of the procedures but significantly decreased downtime for lame horses and those with orthopedic issues. Veterinary costs decreased, while operational readiness times improved.
Clowers’s instructional ability is recognized around the world, thanks to her participation in U.S. Department of State International Policing programs. In 2008, she was the lead instructor of a class for new mounted officers, including several from the Republic of Georgia. The Georgian officers, part of a State Department program that spreads Western policing practices to other areas of the world, did not speak English, so Clowers taught them for 10 weeks using a translator. Her students returned home to become leaders and trainers for their newly formed mounted unit.
Clowers continued her international outreach as one of two subject-matter experts sent to the Kingdom of Jordan to evaluate the care and use of tourism horses and donkeys at the Petra archeological site. In response to grave concerns raised about the treatment of these animals, Clowers performed an on-site evaluation and recommended changes in their veterinary care, feeding, maintenance, and overall humane treatment. The lives of the horses and donkeys improved, as did public perceptions of Jordan’s tourism program.
Within the ranks of domestic (U.S.) security units, Clowers is held in high regard for helping VIPs participate in equestrian activities while ensuring their security. Clowers has served as a riding instructor, guide, and security officer for Presidents Reagan and Clinton, many foreign heads of state, and numerous other dignitaries.