Bull-herding is not the sort of thing they teach in police academies. At least, not in these here parts.
But Harding police now are qualified to become instructors, after successfully “coaxing” a roving bull back to its farm on Sunday night.
“The officers are very innovative,” Police Chief Mark Giansanti said on Tuesday.
The bull and a cow both “got skittish” when they were delivered to a Harding Farm last week, and hopped a fence.
The cow moseyed to a Morristown apartment complex and got escorted home by police from the town and Morris Township.
But the bull spent most of the Memorial Day weekend in the Harding woods, probably…shooting the bull?
We imagine there were some sighs of relief when the creature was a no-show at Saturday’s Memorial Day parade in Morris Plains; a black bear had crashed the party a few years back.
Harding Patrolman Steve DeVries, on a routine patrol, spotted something suspicious by the roadside near Redgate and Van Beuren roads, around 7 p.m. on Sunday.
With help from Sgt. Thomas Downs, Patrolman Dave Selecky, the farm caretaker and a couple of his friends, Patrolman DeVries spent two hours coaxing the animal a quarter-mile back to his pasture.
How, exactly, does one “coax” a horned beast that is the size of a compact car?
“Slowly and carefully,” the Chief said.
The officers set up a moveable barricade to keep the bull on the street. “They took small steps, and progressed toward the farm,” the Chief explained. A couple of split rails were removed from the fence, “and he just walked on in.”
Chief Giansanti said his officers have rounded up stray horses before. But a bull, that’s a first. The Chief sounded pretty happy with the outcome.
“No one got hurt. It all ended safely.”