The University of Pennsylvania joined forces with Mayor Michael Nutter, the City of Philadelphia, members of City Council and the Philadelphia Police Foundation on Thursday, Nov. 4, to announce the return of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Mounted Unit.
“There is no question that a mounted unit will play a crucial role in protecting the people of Philadelphia,” says Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.
Horse-mounted police officers were a vital part of the Philadelphia Police Department’s patrol strategy until the unit was disbanded six years ago because of budget constraints.
“Having the mounted patrol will give the police great flexibility. The mounted police force is a highly effective tool, especially for crowd control, large celebrations, events, and for areas in the city that are traditionally difficulty to patrol on foot or in a vehicle, such as the city’s many large parks,” says Maureen S. Rush, vice president for Public Safety at Penn. “It’s fitting that we had the press conference here at Penn. Historically, Penn Vet used to provide on-site medical care for horses before the New Bolton Center was established.”
“Penn Vet provides exclusive care to canine officers for more than 20 law enforcement entities, including the Philadelphia Police Department’s K-9 unit,” says Joan Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn dean at the School of Veterinary Medicine. “And, we are honored to serve these new equine officers if they require our state-of-the-art specialist care.”
The reintroduction of the horse patrol is being funded by the Philadelphia Police Foundation. This non-profit organization strengthens the mission of the Philadelphia Police Department by providing resources that are not covered in the city’s budget—including the $1.2 million needed to build stables, provide feed and care for the horses, train officers and cover general operating costs.
To help the Foundation raise money during the month of November, which is Police Appreciation Month, several restaurants in the City—eateries in the Reading Terminal Market, Table 31, Bistro St. Tropez, D’Angelos, DiNardo’s, Q BBQ & Tequila, Cuba Libre, Capriccio Café, Novita and Marmont—will feature a “blue plate special” and donate a portion of their proceeds to the Foundation.
Originally published on November 4, 2010