By Julie Shapiro
TRIBECA — The NYPD's plan to put a massive World Trade Center security post on the site of TriBeCa's beloved horse stables has local residents in a lather.
The NYPD's Mounted Unit has called TriBeCa home for nearly 100 years, but now the city reportedly wants to boot the horses in favor of a new 673-officer unit that will police the World Trade Center.
"The loss of the mounted unit would be very negative for the community," said Michael Connolly, co-chairman of Community Board 1's Tribeca Committee. "We strongly oppose this, and we'll get a campaign going."
CB1's Tribeca Committee unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday night objecting to the NYPD's plans, citing a host of serious concerns.
They said they fear if the Mounted Unit moves elewhere, it won't be available to respond quickly to lower Manhattan's frequent large-scale protests. They are also worried about the new center could create another high-security terrorism target in their neighborhood and add to the area's traffic problems.
The Varick Street stables are 12 blocks north of the Trade Center, in the heart of a residential area that includes several preschools.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment, but a police spokesman told the New York Post that the department is moving forward with the plans to replace the stable with a command center.
The dozen horses at the stable will either move to an NYPD stable on West 38th Street or will go to the outer boroughs, the Post reported.
Actor Harvey Keitel, who lives nearby, is a staunch opponent of the move and vowed to help the community fight it, a police source told the Post.
The NYPD plans to open its command center in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, when the memorial will open to the public for the first time. The center will grow as more parts of the site are completed.
Suellen Epstein, who has lived in TriBeCa for more than 30 years, has volunteered to lead community resistance to the NYPD's proposal.
"I will cry for months if this happens," Epstein said. "It's a real travesty."