Budget cuts are endangering horse patrols maintained by many cities, the Associated Press reports. Mounted patrols are popular among the public, but some cities consider them a luxury, said Sgt. Alex Wynnyk of the U.S. Park Police in Washington D.C., who trains mounted patrols.
The future of a six-horse unit in Dayton costing $19,000 a year is in doubt. Disbanding the unit would provide two more officers to patrol the streets. It takes the equivalent of two officers working full-time to care for and feed the horses.
Denver and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., also may cut horse patrols. mounted patrols in Atlanta; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Aspen, Colo.; Crystal River, Fla.; and Birmingham, Mich., have been eliminated.