As we love animals and learning about how the police department works, Gothamist loves today's NY Times article about the mounted unit of the NYPD and how it is now high crime areas. The NYPD will essentially double the number of horses on patrol over the next three years (from 75 to 160), because one mounted police officer can be as effective as 10 police officers. And the horses aren't in a union (they cost $4000) - they just want their hay! Police Commissioner Kelly says, "There's a reason we call them the 10-foot cop. You can see them from blocks away, they're great at crowd control and they're probably the most photographed piece of equipment we have. I'm a huge fan." The mounted police also help "break the ice" with some communities distrustful of the police - and also the horses are just pretty - nevermind the manure. What's amusing is that the NY Times photograph of mounted horses training to get used to "maneuvering through crowds" has horses pushing a huge ball, which must be exactly like throngs of roly poly tourists in Times Square; the audio slide show about the NYPD horses is cool, though. Why aren't there plush NYPD horsies for sale at the City Store?
The NYPD on their Mounted Unit ( The Mounted Unit pursues a four-fold mission which consists of Traffic Control, Crowd Control, Community Relations, and Prevention of Street crime.) There's a Columbia News Service article about the Mounted Unit - the officers repair their own saddles! But the Mounted Unit is looking for a new stable.
Photograph from Lanterna