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When most of us think about law enforcement, a police officer mounted on horseback probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But it turns out that the mounted policeman isn’t quite the anachronism most of us might think.
We were putting the finishing touches on “NYPD Shoe,” the story on Pages 98 to 102 in this issue, when we discovered that its author, Jerry Trapani, was getting some added job security.
Trapani, from West Islip, N.Y., is one of the farriers responsible for shoeing the horses who, with their police officer riders, are known as “New York’s Tallest.” In an April 18 story in The New York Times, writer Andrew Jacobs reported that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly is increasing the budget for this unit over the next 3 years with the goal of increasing it to 160 horses and riders.
“There’s a reason we call them the 10-foot cop,” Kelly told the Times. “You can see them from blocks away.”
Jacobs reported that New York is not the only city where the mounted posse is making a comeback.
“After decades of being viewed as a quaint 19th-century throwback, horseback policing is making a comeback in cities like Honolulu, Las Vegas and Oklahoma City,” the Times story said. “Law enforcement officials have come to appreciate the tactical and economic advantages of a mobile crime-fighting force whose members cost one-fifth the price of a Crown Victoria cruiser.”
Many of us, of course, have seen…