Police horses do not belong in 21st Century cities / by Greg Gallinger

Reality Bits, from the WPF comments:

This city never ceases to amaze me. You complain when the cops conduct traffic enforcement and demand they do something about "real crime"; you come to the defense of a Horse Patrol. $20,000 is the beginning of the costs....Hoju details them well. Not to mention assigning 2 cops YEAR ROUND to the unit. 2 cops back in General Patrol means 2 less that need to be hired. At $80,000 + per officer per year plus all the actual costs...the true savings is more like $250,000. For a year round unit, the horses are at best deployed a dozen times in the winter. It is pure public relations geared to people WHO ALREADY LIKE THE POLICE. They do not arrest anyone. They do not deter crime. They do not investigate. They do not make our streets safer. The police are trained to drive, shoot, interrogate, investigate, and all sorts of other specialized skills. THEY ARE NOT MASCOTS. Of course, if the Horse Patrol started giving cell phone tickets, then the public response might be different.


Despite being cute, and supposedly good PR, the horses distract from real police work and are a real financial burden on a city whose resources could be better spent.