New York

NYPD Joins Rest of Nation in Cutting Back on Horses, Because It’s 2011


“It seems like horses are always among the first to go when it comes to budget cuts,” an expert source tells the New York Times today about the decrease in mounted police units across the country, from San Diego and Tulsa to Boston and New York City, where we’re down to 79 police officers and 60 horses from a previous low of 130 officers and 125 horses. Forgive us for slighting tradition, but those numbers still seem sort of high considering that these units are around mostly for nostalgia purposes and are often based outside of baseball stadiums. (For children to point and smile at?) Why not just ditch them all?

One NYPD higher-up said that mounted units are “tremendous ambassadors of goodwill,” and that he’d “hazard to guess that our horses are photographed more often than Kim Kardashian.” Does the NYPD charge for those photos? They might consider it, what with our city and state’s huge debt and all.

In Charleston, cutting the unit — and giving them bikes and scooters instead — will save $250,000 a year. A woman in her 60s is quoted calling the cutbacks “heartbreaking.” Some people also miss feather quill pens.

Police Departments Downsize, From 4 Legs to 2 [NYT]
In New York, Fewer Police Horses, but Still a Strong Force [NYT]

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