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Group of businessmen decides what Boston really, really needs is the return of police horses

The Globe reports some industrious moguls, led by a guy who runs a company in Natick and PR impresario George Regan, are willing to pony up and donate at least $700,000 to bring back the horses.

The horsey set even agreed to set up their own charity group to pay for at least the acquisition of horses after an existing oundation that helps police buy equipment decided it would rather spend money on things such as gyms in police stations and not saddle BPD with another expense.

The battle no doubt warms the cockles of former City Councilor Steve Murphy's heart - Murphy once famously threatened to have Police Commissioner William Evans arrested if he wouldn't show up at a hearing to consider bringing back the horses. The city disbanded the unit in 2009.

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Comments

... of trucks and UberLyfts first.
Horses are great for cities but cities are great for horses. Not yet.

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Imagine how different it would be if the tallest moving vehicle on the street was an equestrian.
I prefer the odor of horse manure to exhaust and the sound of whinnying to horns blasting and motors drowning out all conversation.

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So I assume you also prefer breathing in fecal dust from dried manure in the streets and walking through fecal puddles in the rain. Cars improved the environment of cities dramatically when they started replacing horses. Then there were the horse carcasses rotting in the summer heat while waiting for removal to the glue factory.

People will fantasize and romanticize the most amazing things. Even shit.

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Cars improved the environment? Are you joking? Have you not read a scientific article in the last 30 years?

Breathing in fecal dust is gross. Breathing in car exhaust causes cancer, asthma and other diseases. Instead of dead horses now we have 35,000 Americans killed by drivers every year. Literally every negative thing you said about horses was made worse by cars.

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they can skip rope
IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/40kbNk86X7yrS/giphy.gif)

and back up.
IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/R8bDhMxgs8QyQ/giphy.gif)

and we can still have gondolas that go everywhere the T doesIMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/l4pT3P2hXJFQaq6EE/giphy.gif)

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The former BPD horse stables are currently being used by Dana Farber. In other words, it was never about the horses.

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in the Brandegee House--are they using the stables? Would seem odd.

When the BPD used the stables, the house was also used as office space, so it doesn't seem as though use of the stables for horses would be incompatible. Separate driveways.

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I always took the parcel as being "the stables."

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The horse stables were closer to Allandale Road/Street, visible from the street. The police dogs were trained there too.

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Horsies are nice PR for the police, but guess where they used to ride them? On the Common, in the middle of the day or where the breakdancing crew is in Adams Square next to the Sam Adams stature. Not exactly crime hell holes, and they are not crime hell holes in the middle of the day now.

Before they were rid of in 2009 the horses would get to the Common around 10:30 patrol for a while and then they would get picked up around 3:00 to head back the stables behind the Faulkner. A cop or two would take a nap over on a bench while the horse rested over where the Partizans stature used to be near Beacon Street.

Bikes are better used for crowd control now, though it has been suggested that the horses be used. I'm sure it is all nice and good that Caleb and Loiza in from Hopkinton for the day got to see a horse while the field trip went to the Swan Boats, but I think cops might be better used elsewhere in the city.

Besides, if a certain "PR Impresario" is behind this, I'm against it. Just remember a certain "PR Impresario" employed a certain former Senate President's now convicted husband and only stopped employing him once things got a little too sexual harassy.

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Yes, the horses are more ceremonial and good PR most of the time. Nevertheless, they are the best crowd control option and they can much more easily break up large crowds. Sorry bikes or even motorcycles don’t work as well. The Horse Unit got whacked in part because someone in the unit pissed off the mayor. As usual politics was in play

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The horses are only good for crowd control when dealing with mostly compliant celebratory crowds. They cannot be used used with hostile crowds because they simply become a larger target for projectiles and sharp instruments. This endangers both the animal and the people around it. A berserk horse with a knife in its belly is a deadly threat to everyone. Modern bicycles with consistent professional training in crowd control have become a better tool. They are cheaper, more versatile, easier to control, and don’t present the liability issues that horse do.

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Properly trained horses break up any crowd faster that anything, including bikes and riot police with shields. Also the horses often calm the crowd with just their presence. The answer to everything is not bikes

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Any evidence to back this up?

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They also have the advantage of being very tall compared to bikes, so the officers can see over the crowds.

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IMAGE(https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3942/15354102129_6f70191655_b.jpg)

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i would seriously consider becoming a cop just to ride a p-far through a protest

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h/t to Elmer.

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The horses were used to patrol the parks in areas where bikes and cruisers can't go and don't have the height to see over brush/reeds/vegetation. They were an integral part to security in the Back Bay Fens since the state refuses to issue a permit for controlled mowing and or herbicide to combat the invasive phragmites.

They were also excellent riot control as no idiot wants to go toe to toe with a 200lb cop in body armor on top of a 2000lb horse.

The RedSox at the time offered 600k to keep the horses. Menino personally wanted them gone.

It was NEVER about the money. Just a beef Menino had for no obvious reason.

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But they're Park Rangers not BPD.

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Horses ain't just for Loiza and Caleb and the tourists. City kids love them. City parents love them. A lot of us hardened urbanites think police horses are great and want them to come back.

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For years I watched his face grow older and then watched as the Botox™ use increased and the teeth just kept getting whiter and the desperation of being the Sammy Glick of the joke that is Boston public relations scene forced him to spend most of the little money he has left buying drinks at the Union Club for people who laugh behind his back like they've been doing for thirty years.

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This inability to move on from outdated things is a big part of the problem with the US's weakening stance in the world. Our president got elected in part to bring back coal industry, and some suburbanites are rallying people here to bring back horse patrols because they have fond memories of them. Romney couldn't believe we have less navy ships than we did in the 50s, the golden age for conservatives, since you know so many battles are fought at sea.
I know evidence based decision making is not looked upon well by conservatives, and new things are scary, but it is the best strategy.

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You might want to cast an eye towards the South China Sea. Yes, naval power is important for projecting strength and assisting allies.

As for the horses, you'd be surprised to find out that there are places in the world that are more enamored with horses than we are in the US. And as others have noted, there's a value to the service.

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Great idea. Anything to help cops build
better community relations, similar to the free ice cream cops would hand out to little kids.

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The city's Park Rangers still have horses, and they sometimes turn up on the Common.

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Where are stables for Park Rangers' horses in addition to stables in Franklin Park?

Location within Franklin Park... more details, street view weblinks please!

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In looking at functions, Franklin Park is the headquarters of the Parks Department.

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Boston Park Rangers (and horses) are based at Franklin Park.

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Looking at various online maps for the location within Franklin Park... more details, street view please!

Trying https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Franklin+Park%22+boston+map

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The Park Department yard at Franklin Park.

Surely you have the ability to consult a map.

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The southeast corner.

Please at least try to make an effort.

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I knew how to read a map.

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Police horses are used to instill fear in protestors they are tour de force. They also bring yet more innocent animals into the enforcement of brutality. No thank you.

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Menino was right on this one, even if it was another personal vendetta. The horses are mainly useless and strictly for PR and tourism purposes. They don't take radio calls unless they are "right there" when the call happens.

The State Police maintain a full time mounted unit that sometimes appears on the beaches under state control in Boston. They could easily handle a World Series or other major event but jurisdiction fighting is the third rail. When the Seaport police issue is resolved, maybe a tradeoff could be made to allow MSP at any Boston crowd control events, any future World Series and patrol the streets. A win, win.

Officers work an eight hour shift. The horse takes at least an hour to get ready and another hour to groom and put away for the night. Significant time is needed to drive the trailer to the area for patrol. You'd be lucky to get four hours out of them on an eight hour shift.

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You’re forgetting one important caveat: the Massachusetts State Police suck and BPD are far superior to them in every imaginable way.

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Such an advocate for bozo sinecure do-nothing show jobs.

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I love horses but if George Regan supports something, my bullshit detector goes up.

If they *do* bring them back, though, just do it for the PR. Seriously. When we last had horses, there were allegations of neglectful mistreatment-- I do not know if it was ever proven. Keeping horses is expensive, especially the large, near-draft horses that are trained for police work. Training them to work with crowds is crazy expensive-- it requires years of dressage-like agility training, and acclimating them to noises, pressure, and projectiles. And the cops have to be trained as well.

If they want three horses to keep as an honor guard for parades and for kids to pet at outreach programs, fine, but this is not what the BPD needs to waste money on.

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