By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With no funds available from the city, the Philadelphia Police Foundation is launching a fundraising drive to build a home for the police department’s mounted patrol unit.
Police Foundation executive director Peter Madden foresees a $3-million, state-of-the-art home for the recently re-established mounted unit on Chamounix Drive in Fairmount Park.
“Let’s hear it for the mounted unit — 14 horses back!” he told the crowd today outside Macy’s department store at 13th and Market Streets.
The Police Foundation is reaching out to the private sector through a program called “Pony Up for the Mounted Unit.” To that end, Macy’s has started the ball rolling with a $5,000 check and a permanent display window containing items used by the mounted unit.
Police commissioner Charles Ramsey says those cops will provide a vital crime-fighting function.
“We have a tremendous amount of parkland in this city, areas where we simply cannot get to by mountain bike, or by motorcycle, or by car,” the commissioner said.
Also look for mounted officers in neighborhoods — and not just in center city. Ramsey believes the city will pick up the funding in about two years.