A Timeless Tradition, The Boston Police Mounted Unit, Gone But Not Forgotten

The following images and text are courtesy of Boston Police Historian and Author of Boston Police Behind the Badge, Officer Robert Anthony.

“Gotta love the horses!!! Beautiful animals and wonderful partners. We certainly miss ours. We need our horses back its a shame the oldest Mounted unit in the country. Here is the history of our Historic Mounted Unit. Lets get them back.”

Founded in 1873, the Boston Police Mounted Unit was the oldest mounted police unit in U.S. history and in its prime it had more than 100 horses housed throughout the city. Here are some facts about the unit:

• Brandegee Estate in Jamaica Plain became the official home to the Boston Police Mounted Unit in 1964 and remained so until the unit disbanded in 2009 due to budget cuts.

• When the unit was disbanded, there were 10 mounted officers and nine hostlers who looked after the horses at the stable. Some of the horses went to New York City, while the rest went to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.

• One of the horses, Prescott, was donated to the mounted unit by Mayor Kevin H. White. The revered horse lived more than 30 years and arguably served the longest.

• The mounted unit was a staple during celebrations throughout the city, including the Dorchester Day parades in the late 1980s.

• The police horses were often used to patrol the Back Bay Fens along the banks of the Muddy River.

• The mounted unit was used for crowd control during the 2004 Democratic National Convention and during victory parades for the Red Sox, New England Patriots and the Celtics.

• The Park Rangers Mounted Unit was established in 1982, branching off the Boston Police Mounted Unit, mainly patrolling parks and recreational areas such as the Arnold Arboretum.

Boston mounted unit was Disbanded on June 25, 2009