Senator Farnese Secures $100,000 in State Funding to Jumpstart Fundraising

Harrisburg – March 25, 2011—-Senator Larry Farnese today joined Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the families of officers killed in the line of duty, members of the Philadelphia Police Foundation and others to welcome the first five horses to the soon-to-be restored Philadelphia Police Mounted Unit.

Stephen, Santiago, Pat, Tiny Tim and Johnny will soon begin their training alongside members of the PPD Mounted Unit in April. The horses have been named after the five officers who have fallen in the line of duty since 2008 (Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, 05/03/08; Officer Isabel Nazario (maiden name Santiago), 09/05/08; Sgt. Patrick McDonald, 09/23/08.; Sgt. Timothy Simpson, 11/07/08; Officer John Pawlowski, 02/13/09).

“We have a public safety emergency,” said Senator Farnese. “The Mounted Unit will go a long way in restoring order and safety to Center City. We must regain public confidence so that people know that it is safe to be in Center City.”

Senator Farnese has secured a $100,000 state-funded grant specifically for the Police Department and the Mounted Unit.

At a time when the city budget is stretched, Senator Farnese said that a Mounted Unit is highly cost-effective when it comes to controlling crime and crowds because one Mounted officer can take the place of several patrol officers.

As a matter of public safety, a Mounted officer can protect both the public and other officers.

“During the 2000 Republican National Convention, it was a Mounted officer who rescued the Police Commissioner when a protester attacked him with his bicycle,” said Senator Farnese.

The Philadelphia Police Department, with the support of the non-profit Philadelphia Police Foundation, expects to have a Mounted Unit with initially 10-12 horses and officers up and running later this year. In addition to public contributions, corporate support thus far has come from Comcast, 7-Eleven and Verizon Wireless.

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