Love New York City? Give a policeman a horse!

Wanted by the New York City Police Department: horses.

Yes, horses - for the department's spanking new mounted unit headquarters in Times Square.

Located on West 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues in a former New York Telephone Company building, the new mounted unit headquarters has stables for 26 horses. Built at a cost of $450,000, the facility is down the street from Theatre Row, one of the brightest stars in the city's redevelopment plan for the Times Square-area. Theatre Row is now comprised of eight off-Broadway theatres and has lured a number of new restaurants and shops.

City officials hope that the headquarters, which was built with the help of grants from private corporations, will play a key role in making the area safer and more attractive.

''This new mounted headquarters and stable will not only be a base of operations for our mounted officers, but will become an integral part of the neighborhood, showing once again that police officers do not just work in a community but are a vital part of its way of life,'' said New York City Police Commissioner Robert McGuire.

But now that it has a new headquarters, the mounted unit has a shortage of good, quality horses, police spokesmen say. The city's budgetary problems have curtailed its ability to buy horses, and it has established a horse donation program, administered by the mounted unit.

''We have been fortunate to have received some of our finest horses in this manner,'' says a police department brochure appealing for horse donations. ''Those wishing to donate a horse should contact the mounted unit for details.''

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