In the past, it was a refreshing sight to see mounted police officers patrolling a specific area on horseback while enforcing traffic laws while providing crowd control to maintain public safety. Today, this scene is very rare.
A police officer from the city’s mounted unit was performing his duty near a red light installed at the intersection of North 9th Ave. and Rising Sun Ave. in North Philly was rear-ended by a car.
Inspector Scott Small related that the police officer stopped at the red light when he and his horse were hit from behind by a BMW 1996 model.
Due to the impact, officer fell off the horse and landed on the street.
The fall made the office appeared a little groggy and disoriented aside from sustaining minor injuries to his legs and arms.
The officer was identified as veteran serving the Philadelphia Police department, for 17 years and was wearing a helmet. He was transported to the University Hospital of Temple for treatment.
The horse also suffered legs’ injuries but was able to walk as police drove him away from the scene of the crash.
A sixty-year-old man was the operator of the BMW who stayed on the scene after the crash. The injured police did not look impaired and answered the questions of the officers.
Witnesses saw the unusual accident and added information to police. Small said that it was a rare case when a police officer in uniform on his horse, performing his job would be hit by a vehicle.
The injured beast was delivered to Police Northeast Stables where he will be checked up by a veterinarian and provided with any necessary treatment.
Like Newark, Philadelphia after 32 years stopped using its mounted police unit – in 2004 for reasons of funding.
Mounted Police program was discontinued but after 2011, the police department launched a campaign to raise $2 million dollars to revive it..
Small said after the time of its revival, mounted patrol were on the streets, along the sidewalks, patrolling off road and they were assigned everywhere around in the city, especially in the high crime areas.
Managing Director Phil Goldsmith said they maintained 19 horses that cost them between $400,000 and $500,000 annually covering room, board, and grooming.
Last November, the police department launched a fund raising campaign to earn about $2 million for restoring what was always considered a highly effective program.
State Sen. Larry Farnese, a Democrat from Philadelphia, promised a $100,000 state grant; while local businesses as: (1) Comcast Corp.; (2) 7-Eleven Inc.; and (3) Verizon Wireless donated a combined amount of $50,000 to add to the program. Philadelphia Police Foundation a nonprofit group is still collecting donations.
Philly police spokesperson Lt. Raymond Evers said it is going to begin although no sure date is given. It has the blessings and support from their commissioner and mayor. They have no problem about funding which is agreat gift for them in the community.
Evers said that they are preparing the necessary accommodations but the four horses from Newark will be boarded at a barn in Chester County until they will undergo training to prepare for traffic duty.
Source: NBC Bay Area Com
Source: NBC Philadelphia Com (http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philly-Police-Force-Gains-Four-Horses-113197974.html)