City councilors today overwhelmingly supported the idea of bringing back the Boston Police mounted unit, disbanded as a cost-saving measure in 2009.
Councilors, including at-large Councilor Steve Murphy, who made the proposal, said cops on horses are just better at patrolling certain types of large gatherings and that they are excellent at public relations and as ice breakers between police and citizens - who doesn't love horses?
But while Murphy quietly said a return of a mounted unit would fix a budget battle the council lost in 2009 and that its return has the backing of current Police Commissioner William Evans, at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty rose, twice, to tear into former Mayor Tom Menino.
"Eliminating the mounted unit was shortsighted and misguided," he started. And the mean side of the Menino administration came out when it reassigned and demoted several members of the mounted unit who spoke in favor of the horses he said.
After other councilors spoke in favor of the proposal - which now goes for a public hearing before any formal action, Flaherty rose to speak in favor of it again. He said the city might even be able to get some of the former mounted-unit horses back, because the officers who rode them have maintained ties with the farms that took them in. And then he complained again about what he said was mistreatment of those officers by Menino:
"It was a complete travesty - mean spirited and completely unnecessary," he said.
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