Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

Since the Boston Police Department disbanded its mounted unit in 2009, sporadic efforts to bring back the horses haven't gone far. Now, business leaders are working to help raise the $1 million to $1.5 million needed to get officers back in the saddle, patrolling parks and parades, reports the Boston Globe.

"I remember back when we were doing away with [the mounted unit]. I had more calls with people expressing sorrow," Police Commissioner William Evans said. "People hated to see them go. It's an important part of us being out there, being visible."

When car magnate Herb Chambers asked Evans during a lunch in May what he could do to help the department, Evans suggested reviving the dismantled mounted unit.

"The commissioner mentioned that they were trying to bring back the horses," said Chambers, who is willing to donate $100,000. "I think there are enough people that have pride in the city that would like to be involved in that."

Plans to restore the mounted unit, once the oldest in the country, are in their infancy. Evans said four to six horses would be needed, at least to get started, and officers would have to be trained to patrol on horseback. He doesn't know exactly what it would cost, but business leaders involved in the project have pegged the startup cost at as much as $1.5 million.