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Cleveland to Disband Mounted Police Unit

The city's mounted police unit, the second-oldest in the nation, will end its near century-long run because of a $61 million budget deficit.

The unit's 13 horses, often seen patrolling crowds, will be given away to horse farms while the seven officers who ride them will be assigned
to patrol cars or other duties.

Cleveland's Mounted Unit, once 100 horses strong, was established in 1905 and is the oldest continuing mounted police unit in the nation. Only New York's unit is older, but it had been disbanded for a period.

Sgt. Donald Strother, whose longtime service with the unit fulfilled a boyhood dream, fought back tears Monday.

"No more riding boots and breeches," he said. "It's back to straight legs and oxfords."

Throughout the 20th century, Cleveland's Mounted Unit rode in Inaugural Day parades in Washington, D.C., and collected blue ribbons in national riding competitions.
 
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