Philadelphia to deploy mounted patrols

Philadelphia Police officers are preparing to saddle up. The department’s mounted patrol unit expects to start trotting through the streets, fighting crime, later this spring.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said horses are good for crowd control, patrolling parks, and other areas it’s tough for cars to reach.

“So, should the Phillies win and we have a celebration of some kind, one will have a unit ready to go,” he said.

Ramsey said the unit will not be a drain on the department’s budget.

“They’re donated. There are horse farms that donate them. Philadelphia racetrack has agreed to donate some,” said Ramsey. “A lot of the thoroughbreds–once they finish racing—they’re sent to farms and a lot of those make very good police horses. So we get very, very high quality horses, but they’re donated–we don’t have to buy them.”

The police have named horses after the five officers who have fallen in the line of duty since 2008.

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