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Police Horses in Traffic

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles

Police Horses in Traffic

Washington Times
December 26, 1922 Home Edition

An Absurdity as Well as a Danger.

Mounted Policeman Frank J. Mace, of New York city, obeying orders and doing his duty, was knocked from his horse by a truck and killed.

The truck driver may have been guilty. If so, of course he will be punished. But as every horseman knows, it is quite probable that the fault was with the horse. A horse in moving traffic cannot be PERFECTLY controlled.

A slight movement to one side or the other may cause collision. Drivers of trucks and automobiles usually know nothing about horses, do not realize the danger of the absurdity of putting live animals in the midst of rushing automobiles. But the public authorities SHOULD realize that absurdity and discontinue the practice.

Policemen should be on foot, in automobiles, or on motorcycles, not on horseback.

Putting a man on horseback in traffic is like putting him in a terminal freightyard on horseback, and worse. In the freightyard he MIGHT keep off the tracks and not get hit. Among motors, swiftly moving, with no tracks, no certainty as to steering, a mounted man risks his life every minute.

The mounted police are maintained for use against mobs and in controlling crowds. If they must remain, although out of date, they should be used elsewhere than in the rush of automobiles.

Signal towers, men on foot, or on motorcycles, can best do the work.

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