On Monday, city officials announced plans to construct a facility for the Philadelphia Police Mounted Unit on Chamounix Drive. The facility is set to be 13,000 square feet, constructed of steel, and is intended to house around 40 horses. The site itself is adjacent to the McCarthy Stables, which is also known as the Chamounix Equestrian Center. The facility’s barn will be set up for 42 stables, five feed stalls, four track room, and three wash stalls fully equipped with indoor plumbing.
The construction effort is an attempt to recognize the importance of the Mounted Patrol. According to Police Commission Charles H. Ramsey, mounted police are able to patrol many areas that cannot be patrolled by car. They are also useful for crowd control. Philadelphia’s mounted unit has 12 horses, which are currently housed at Amber Acres on Stanwood Street.
The Philadelphia Police Foundation is reportedly collaborating in the project, and is raising money for the effort through a program called Pony Up for the Mounted Unit. Construction services, to be provided pro bono, will be through a partnership with trade unions in the Philadelphia area. Iron workers, cement masons, roofers, carpenters, engineers and other tradesman will all be involved in the project.
Mayor Nutter has said that the Mounted Unit is an important aspect of public safety and the police force’s resources. The project, according to Nutter, is in large part a response to Police Commissioner Ramsey’s insistence that Philadelphia police have a mounted unit.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “City to build $1.4 million home for police mounted unit,” Vernon Clark, November 1, 2011.