Sunday, July 3, 2011

Times Square: Another Last Night in Manhattan & the New York City Mounted Officers On The Patrol

Times Square facing south. The former New York Times building center is from
where the New Year's eve ball regularly drops. At left is the Minskoff Theatre where
'The Lion King' is likely to roar for many more years.
Times Square facing north from 46th street. More specifically this is Duffy Square
which makes up the northern portion of Times Square. The statue entertainer
George C. Cohan is at bottom. Towering behind him are the billboards attached
to the southern exterior of the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel.
The steps of the tkts discount ticket booth
is a popular hangout for visitors in Times Square.
As I regularly do during my last night of each visit to New York City is linger a bit longer in Times Square. It's my last opportunity to soak up the frenzied atmosphere before heading back to Honolulu, Hawaii which is gentle by comparison.

One thing many visitors will notice are the New York Policy Department's mounted officers (pictured below). Some would think they exist for the benefit of tourists but they also patrol Coney Island Boardwalk, Rockefeller Center, Yankee Stadium and the many street demonstrations that regularly pop up in the city.

The added height and visibility give the officers a wider view of an area they patrol and helps the public to identify officers and deter crime.

The mounted unit is smaller than it was a decade ago with 79 police officers and 60 horses, down from 130 officers and 125 horses. This is a small number compared to the loss of 6,000 officers in total through attrition. The force now numbers 34,820 members. However NYC has retained their mounted units when other cities including Philadelphia, Boston and San Diego have retired all of their police horses.

This is my seventeenth visit to Manhattan and many more will come. So as is customary I end the visit with some last photos of Times Square at night. It would be interesting one day to compare photos taken in 1995 when I first visited NYC with one taken each successive year I've returned. But I'll save that for another time.

A member of the New York's mounted officers and his horse patrolling
Times Square along 7th Avenue.
The Times Square Visitor Center closes in the early evening but
the McDonald's next door is open 24 hours daily.

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