Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Despite Obama's Horsing Around, Equestrian Patrols are Part of Policing in D.C.



Photo courtesy of DCMetroPoliceCollector.com

During yesterday's debate on foreign policy, President Obama scored what may have been the zinger of the night when he mocked Republican challenger Mitt Romney for thinking that when it comes to military hardware, quality matters more than quantity. "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed," Obama quipped.
Sure, but how about the nature of policing the capital? Officers are more and more likely to be seen on bikes, motorcycles, cars, and even Segways, but that doesn't mean that local police forces have completely rid themselves of the horses that used to be part and parcel of maintaining order in D.C.
In fact, the Metropolitan Police Department went in exactly the opposite direction in 2001, when Police Chief Charles Ramsey reinstated the Horse Mounted Division that had been disbanded some 70 years earlier. (Check out some great historical pictures here.) Wrote the Post's Petula Dvorak of Ramsey's decision:


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