You know that saying "beating a dead horse"...? This "political issue" of the
Hampton Police horse patrol at Hampton Beach and the discussion about it needs to have a different perspective: Please put those poor horses out to pasture; be humane.
I think this is an issue of animal cruelty. Having two horses sitting there with a “cop on its back” hour after hour so some visitor can get a “postcard” shot… Wow! The poor horse; does it make “horse sense”?
You could just bring the kids to a zoo or a petting farm. Think about it – a horse standing at that beach (lots of sand on a hot day, similar to a desert in Iraq),
actually standing on that hot blacktop with a heavy saddle and an adult man (&
his gear) sitting on its back for hours and hours. There are no shade trees at
the beach. There are no water troughs or hitching post (like in front of the
saloons as in old westerns). To me, that sounds pretty cruel. Where is the NH SPCA?
So what’s the point? To all the animal lovers… - especially those equestrians from Hampton Falls – the tax payers of the Town of Hampton are the ones paying for
the two “ornamental” police horses. Taxpayers of Hampton – would you rather go to the grocery store and buy food for your family or pay for the cost to house, feed, train and carry medical care on horses that work 2 month of the year? You realize that in Boston and New York City, they are doing away with their horse patrols because of cost?
Perhaps you think Police Chief Sullivan doesn’t know how to run his department? He is the person that made the decision to either put “horses or boots” on the street. He certainly is competent and has enough experience in this town to make that decision.
He has a budget that he prepares and then executes, just like in the “real world”. He has many “modern” tools at his disposal for his department to do their job. This is not the “wild west”. Horses (and buggy whips) have been replaced with guns, tazers, rubber bullets (and real ones), cruisers; digitalize (scrambled) radio communications, Homeland Security, surveillance cameras, advanced training, rifles and other things we don’t even know about! Have you visited the Hampton Police Department? They have a lot of resources available to them to do their job (the training room rivals any Gold’s Gym I have ever seen).
To all the animal lovers: I could get behind a K-9 unit. I think a dog (or dogs) that could sniff out drugs would be something the police could use every day of the year – summer, winter, fall and spring! Feeding a dog is certainly not the same as
feeding a horse. And you want crowd control? Try a barking German Sheppard to
move people back. It works every time!
Let’s do a reality check. Look at the “real” world. Consider the economy. Consider your taxes and jobs. The State of New Hampshire is cutting budgets and pushing cost down to the towns. The Federal Government has been doing that since Ronald Regan. In New Hampshire, the tax burden is on the shoulders of the home owners. Do you wish to carry the expense of a “horse patrol” as well?
I have lived on the beach for 15 years. What do you think brings people to Hampton Beach? I can tell you it is the Atlantic Ocean and 2 miles of a beautiful, clean, sandy beach and most of all, A HOT SUNNY DAY!