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Boston Police Defend Decision To Disband Horse Unit

This article is more than 10 years old.

Boston Police officials explained their rationale for the elimination of the department's mounted unit. The oldest police equestrian unit in the nation is being disbanded as of next week due to budget cuts.

Police Commissioner Ed Davis told members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee he was forced to make a decision between cutting people or animals when he approved the budget that cuts $750,000 needed to maintain the mounted unit. Civilian hostlers who work at the stable will lose their jobs, the 11 horses will be given to other departments and the 10 officers will be transferred to other units.

"The mounted police unit is clearly important to the people of Boston. We heard it loud and clear in this room today, and I've been hearing it loud and clear outside of this room. No major city should be without a mounted police unit," said City Council President Michael Ross.

Police officials were open to the idea of reconstituting the mounted unit sometime in the future, should funds become available.

This program aired on June 24, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Steve Brown Twitter Senior Reporter/Anchor
Steve Brown is a veteran broadcast journalist who serves as WBUR's senior State House reporter.

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