Friday, February 25, 2011

90 Is Grounded, For The Most Part

In light of the budget cuts, Aerial Support is suspending all helicopter activities, operations and call-outs, except for extremely high priority calls; for example, life risk to officers (officer involved shootings) and extremely critical public safety incidents.

So really, what is the point? If our pilots are not flying except for extremely critical incidents, what will they be doing? Instead of just setting around and waiting, twiddling their thumbs, they can be humping calls until that "extremely critical incident" happens.

Come on, are we really saving any money by grounding the helicopters, while at the same time paying the pilots just to sit around? Where is the common sense?

So our budget has to be cut. But do it in a rational, sensible way.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey - stop the bitchin brother - we knew this would happen. That bird costs in the thousands hourly to operate. They're not just going to sell it - but it makes no sense to waste the limited flight time between maintenance - and the costly fuel. I'm pretty sure (without being Special Ops.) that the people in that unit are working. Special Ops doesn't let people just sit on their butts.

Anonymous said...

Does Dekalb still have a medical transport helicopter or is the grounding of 90 the end of it all?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate 90 coming out yesterday on Tucker day watch to catch 4 burglary suspects. If they would not have responded then the same for suspects would still be out breaking into several more houses. Keep the bird flying this is rediculous.

Rufus in Druid Hills said...

I'm sure they could reassigned to guard some important person's house in Tucker.

Anonymous said...

Dekalb County, What a beautiful place to live.

Dear potential resident of Dekalb County we are seeking you now!!!!
We are a County that has plenty of opportunity and the sky is the limit.

Our businesses our flourishing, that is if you want to open a car wash, pawn shop, liquor store, flea market, check cashing store, rim shop, extended stay motel, corner gas station – lottery shop, or night club. Eighty percent of our businesses our comprised of these and they are growing in numbers, the rest are boarded up or foreclosed.

Or course you can take advantage of some of these businesses. Just after you pawn your stolen 60inch flat screen, you can go buy some new 20inch rims and then take your car to the car wash. While your car is being washed you can walk across the street to the corner gas station, purchase a crack pipe and lose cigarette, and then gamble on slot machines in a back room as you wait on your car. Once you loose all your money you can go cash your stolen money order at the check cashing spot and gamble some more. Where else can you get all this.

Our neighborhoods are depreciating at record rates, therefore you can purchase a new foreclosed home for half the value that is if you don’t mind living beside a vacant house that is occupied by vagrants and unruly truant juveniles. You are also guaranteed to have your home burglarized within the first 6 months of moving in so you will need good insurance. At least the Board of Commissioners did not raise taxes.

Our water services are ancient and we are raising your water bills to three times the amount you pay now. We have been fined $400,000.00 by the EAP for leaking 200,000 gallons of raw sewage in your streams. We will probably use one of the current Board members buddies company to pay to do the renovation. We can’t afford to fix your pot hole, pick up your trash, or cut the grass along roadways because the Board of Commissioners cut our budget by 9%.

Our School system ranks well below the national average, the truant rate is astronomical, and the Superintendent pockets $200,000.00 for her salary. Look at the bright side your child can always join one of the hundreds of Gangs imbedded within the schools.

The Board of Commissioners cares nothing for your Public Safety. Your Fire and Police Department personnel have not received merit increases for going on five years. They were furloughed; have out dated unsafe equipment, a vehicle fleet where the majority of the vehicles have 150,000 miles on them, the prices of medical benefits were increased, pension contributions were doubled, and their budget was cut 5% causing the next Police academy to be cancelled. The Police Department was ordered to shut down operation of its helicopter because they can’t afford fuel. What does this mean for you, personnel are leaving. This past year hundreds of Firemen and Police Officers left the Department meaning less Officers and Firemen to help citizens. Good luck when you call 911 we don’t have the man power or equipment to help you. Look at the bright side though they just eliminated the Public Safety Director because one of the Commissioners feelings got hurt.

Please come to Dekalb NOW, We are the new CLAYTON County!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier comment! Stop your crying. Time will be spent training the current pilots as well as the new pilots. Fuel is up at the pumps for regular vehicles so you can just quest the price of JP8 fuel. Come on brother or sister you cant be serious.

Anonymous said...

Suspend all take home cars, unless you are the on call detective, swat, bombs, k9. How much would this save the county in fuel cost? We need 90, but we can do just fine without tac officers, chiefs' aides, etc having take home cars as a perk.

Anonymous said...

The county does not have its own medical helicopter. Emory, Children's, and other hospitals and private services run them. They can be called in for critical calls, but it takes a very unusual circumstance to get this approved through the chain of command on scene. It is often faster to transport with PD to assist clearing traffic between scene and hospital. Also rare, but more realistic.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to wonder about you blogmaster. You sure you're a police officer? You entirely missed the point on this subject. Why so worried about the two pilots, sergeants by the way, and what they'll be doing during their down time. That is the job of their supervisors and I'm sure they'll be kept busy.

What you should be bringing up is the fact that 90 helped catch 4 burglary suspects yesterday. Yes FOUR!!!! Now how many burglaries do you think these fine gentlemen have committed? This is a very real example of how cuts in the police department will affect public safety. Without the helicopter responding these guys get away. But hey, you keep making your argument about the pilots since it appears you have a personal axe to grind. Idiot!

On a personal note, I have absolutely no problem with these guys primarily sitting in a standby mode. If I'm stuck in the woods shooting it out with some perp or some other critical incident/officer involved I want 90 there yesterday. I don't want to have to wait for them to go -08 from some stupid alarm call, drive across town in traffic, checklist the helicopter, get it up in the air, and get to me an hour later. Neither would you. Again, idiot!

Sgt D.S. Williams said...

I usually don't comment on non-factual opinions, but there are exceptions. The blog controller like so many has no idea what's required to operate this unit and/or helicopter. The pilots and TFOs are proficient because of their commitment. We don't sit around watching television, doing crosswords puzzles or kick back chatting on our cellular phone. FYI, we will continue to answer calls however they must meet predetermined criterias. 90 is an essential tool for DeKalb however the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn't care about DeKalb's budget, there are maintenance and other requirements which are expensive. The decision was made to reduce flight operations which doesn't equate to kicking back and relaxing. We have a far greater responsibility than you know. If there's something you would like to know blog controller by all means call the office.

Anonymous said...

Four burglars caught in DeKalb County does not mount to much. They were probably already out on bond, will get out on another ridiculously low bond and continue doing what they do while their case takes a year to get to DA's office where they will not present it to a grand jury or just give them probation. Bottom line... all that work, spent money and resources for no or little result.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon at 9:53am! Putting the pilots on the road would be a nightmare! Think before you blog next time! Keep the pilots sitting their arse in a chair watching Opra for all I care...just as long as they can go 10-8 in seconds when we need them!

Anonymous said...

The budget can be met. Time to show the citizens how over priced our contracts are with providers and within the county itself. Motor maint has been over charging on its work for years inflating its budget. I'm sure that all departments in Dekalb have their own stories of over charging. Maybe it's time for prisoners to start cleaning up our parks, roadways, cutting grass at all county owned buildings. There are a multitude of projects that can be done with free labor, under a work to pay your penance program.It will take DKSO cooperation. There are ways around this and yes those folks that have had favorable contracts with the county that started under vern will have to make a living some other way. This is just an idea that with some thought might work.

Anonymous said...

Well said 7:02am!

Anonymous said...

This is really one of those cases of rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Aerial support has been in integral part in helping apprehend numerous suspects. Truth be told, most of the time, the pilots are not doing helicopter related stuff...they can't be flying the thing 24/7. I dont' really agree with the idea of sending them on calls because then if the helicopter is needed, they will be busy and have to return to the pad and get it ready to go before getting back in the air. I don't know how many pilots we have now between the three watches, but maybe slimming the aerial support unit so it has fewer members would be a better idea than making them all uniform officers who have to go fly when needed.

LoFlyer said...

This is a really dumb question. What happened to the other aerial unit that went down at Covington airport. My understanding is that it was totaled but in that case what happened to the insurance payoff of the unit?
Aerial support requires a fair amount of training to maintain proficiency and avoid accidents such as seen at Covington, if these guys don't fly every day, their skills deteriorate and the chances for accidents increase.
I fail to understand why the county has a Horse farm, an Aqua park, a performing arts center and lots of other really nice facilities but can no longer support the police helo unit.
I suspect this is another case of deliberately killing a high visibility unit to gain more funding.
In case no one has noticed, DeKalb is sacrificing valuable and worthy assets to maintain unnecessary but really nice facilities that provide no security to the citizens. Which is more important for DeKalb citizens. A helo unit or the performing arts center?
This is stupid.

Wise Guy said...

I couldn't have said it better Sergeant William keep the faith brother. The Blog Master (AKA Punk) is just a disgruntled MPO.

Anonymous said...

Simply put.......Dekalb County government is nothing more than a "real piece of work". It doesn't get any worse than this! Poor ole 90, a very worth while machine for all of the county and then some, will now sit on top of that roof on top of the Burgess Building and rust.

What a waste!!!!!

This ought to tell the current and future taxpayers of this county how much common sense our dear beloved idiots who are in charge of spending hard earned tax dollars really have......Zip, Zilch, Nadda, None, Empty.

Lets all contact the Georgia General Assembly and create a new county without the scumbags that were running Dekalb. Now that will be progress !!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...sounds like someone is going off at the mouth about something they have no idea about. I am not in that unit, but I do know that owning and operating any aircraft has tons of paperwork involved. When you are not flying, you are keeping up with FAA notices (daily) proper logging of the aircraft activity, to include daily inpections (whether you fly or not), maintenace logs, manufacturer updates, and other aviation publications. Until you actually own any type of aircraft, let alone fly one, don't put out information which you know nothing about. All that does is create turmoil and in-fighting amongst officers. To all, stay safe and watch each others backs...this nation has already lost too many officers this year due to violent acts of criminals. Remember we only have each other out there.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:02 you spoke the truth! very well said. Sgt Williams, thank you so much. Blogmaster, I just don't know what to say....

Meat HeAD said...

Williams shut up, hell you boys cant even Auto Rotate without tearing up the helocopter.
So read up on that will ya.!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Aerial Support Unit, 90...........tit job, hands down. Always has been. Why do you think they ask for every 10-11 for every incident they show up on? To justify their existence....

Worthless unit, Should be totally disbanded and the privileged children forced to hump calls like the rest of us.

Good call Bill!!!!!!!

As far as the 4 42 perps...............juveniles.....great catch!

Anonymous said...

Hey....maybe the real problem is actually the voters in this county. They are the ones who keep sending those incompetents back to office every election cycle. No wonder this county is circling the drain.

Voters..citizens..wake-the-hell-up and change your BOC or step up to the plate yourself !!

I knew there was a reason I moved out of the county long, long ago.....

Anonymous said...

I have never written on here before.... this topic bears some clarification. I am a current Police Sergeant in DKPD - 22 years. I also used to be in the "financial know" regarding the Aerial Support Unit. What some of you may not know is that the funding to run ASU is not a month by month, "check to check" operation, but rather is budgeted years in advance in order to account for such things as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and fluctuating fuel costs. The "maintenance and replacement fund" has been paid in to over the last several budget years so that the helicopters could be properly maintained and then replaced when the cost to operate exceeded reasonable market and maintenance costs. "SOMEONE" in Decatur funneled most all of the saved money (near 3 million dollars) from the account and used it elsewhere in the County. By the way, this account has/had nothing to do with the recent insurance settlement... most of that settlement money is going to the "General Fund", so I have heard - NOT to PD or ASU..
So, it's by no fault of the ASU - or the PD for that matter - that funding is not there to replace helicopters, which have become more maintenance costly over time. The plan to fund replacement was set up by Rodney Rancifer prior to these ships being purchased. Say what you want about Rodney, but he knew what he was doing with this and this WAS set up in a forward-thinking manner..
On a separate and more personal note, I know the ASU Pilots and TFOs personally. These people have dedicated their lives to not only the Police Department, but to aviation, paying out of their own pockets for training, travel to conferences, meetings with vendors, etc. This is over and above what is required even at a minimum. The days of "watching TV and playing cards" waiting for the next flight have been gone for many years. That all stopped when Al Rivers retired and Rancifer became the Chief Pilot. Those of you who know Rancifer know that he didn't tolerate NOT working. He expected everyone to work and be available as much as he was - incredible work ethic, amazing pilot... not so great interpersonal skills, though. Nobody is perfect.
Stop throwing knives at each other. We are supposed to take care of one another. ASU has been a vital tool in this Police Department for many years and it still has an important role in our overall mission... "Protecting the public and catching bad guys". That mission hasn't changed. So, the next time you're in the woods chasing a bad guy, in a car chase, OR literally fighting for your life on the side of the road.... remember that the "flying flashlight" has always been one of the first PD on the scene and many times has landed to assist you before even a ground unit could arrive.
Each of us has a job to do, no matter our current assignment. Do it to the best of your abilities - always. Keeping the public safe and catching bad guys is what we do... Basic and simple. This poisonous attitude towards our own has no place here in this Department. It will bring us down further than any politician ever could!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:10…Say what you want about Rodney

OK I will. Rodney Rancifer was an arrogant SOB who cared only for himself. He was mentally unstable and he never met a lie he wouldn’t tell. 8 out of 10 officers who knew him couldn’t stand him and the other 2 were scared of him and intimidated by him so they kissed his ass. King Rodney ruled his kingdom by intimidation. If he couldn’t intimidate you he didn’t want you around his kingdom. Small wonder that he and the idiot Bolton hit it off so well.

I have no doubt that Rancifer set up a fund to buy more helicopters in the future. Forward thinking? Yeah, maybe, but he would have had a fleet of 10 helicopters if he was allowed. I am told by others who are, “in the know” that he flew the county’s helicopters like they belonged to him. He flew them to the range and to training in Lithonia all the time instead of driving. He flew them on personal errands and personal spy missions on a regular basis. How much did this cost tax payers?

Unlike you, I can’t claim that I know the pilots who are assigned to ASU. I won’t even claim to know that much about SOD but I do know many officers who assigned there. I am sure the pilots are good people and I am sure they are very capable pilots. I don’t have one bad thing to say about them. ASU is a useful law enforcement tool and I am sorry we are losing it. SOD seems to be staffed with a lot of officers who have special skills that the department needs.

This poisonous attitude has no place in this department. These are your words and I agree with you. I just can not see the good in bringing up Rancifer who personified poisonous attitude and bragging on him. O’Brien ran him off and he doesn’t work here anymore. Just brag on the good officers who are still here instead. There are plenty of them.

Anonymous said...

To anon, Feb 25 9:52 a m Where do you get the idea that PD stopping traffic for a ground transport unit is faster than a helicopter to a hospital? Yea, if you re heading to DeKalb Medical. But to Grady or Ga Bapt.? No way! When my son was a victim of a signal 41, 15, 10 just beyond what is now Tucker Precinct, our helicopter transported him to Ga Baptist in 5 mins. from the scene & later was ground transported to Grady's burn unit. Although tragically he survived only 6 days, thanks to our helicopter pilot & a wonderful medic, we had 6 more days with our son that we surely would NOT have had had he been transported by a ground unit.I know each case is different but is it really worth losing one life in a critical situation by not having at least a partially medically-equipped chopper available in our own county? I recall the time that Maloof fully intended to abolish the medical chopper even included this issue in public hearings but even HE reconsidered. From one very appreciative mom....

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:56

Is Rancifer and Yarbrough the same person?

Anonymous said...

I read this blog and I am amazed at how much police officers hate each other. It's like children arguing over whose toy is better than the other. You are supposed to be "brother's in blue". I don't see that anymore. I see bitching about what each unit does/doesn't do. I pray to god that you guys wake up and stop attacking each other. One day you may need someone from another unit, and rest assured (bitching aside)they will be there. Support each other like real officers do. Too many officers have already died this year, take care of each other like you're supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:06, Out-friggin-Standing. BRAVO!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this blog and I just shake my head. We(DKPD) allow some coward (Blogmaster) who is concealed behind a computer screen cause so much hate and discontent among us. This blog serves no purpose other than spreading vicious rumors. I would not want to be a part of the command staff. According to this blog they are all dumbass. No one can get it right.. Maybe that is why we don't get much support from the citizen. We don't support each other... Please stop! Sad Sad

Anonymous said...

Oh, but your are, Anon 7:18.

Anonymous said...

THE BEST WAY TOO REDUCE,THE OVERALL OPERATING COST,IS SELL THE BIRDS.AND BUY A HUGHES 300,AND THIS WILL,KEEP THE AIR UNITS FLYING,AND CURTAIL CRIME,THE COST IS ONE THIRD, OF THE MODELS THEY HAVE,AVERAGE COST 334,000,INSTEAD OF SPENDING 2 MILLION A BIRD,TRY IT IT WORKS

Anonymous said...

MOST ANY BODY IN THE HELICOPTER BUSINESS,WILL TELL YOU OPERATING A TURBINE SHIP,IS HIGH DOLLAR,BUT IF THEY CHANGE BACK TOO A PISTON HELICOPTER,THERE COST WOULD DROP 75 PERCENT,I KNOW IVE OWNED 10 HELICOPTERS,AND STILL HAVE ONE,GO BACK TOO WHEN DEKALB COUNTY WAS FLYING HUGHES 269 B MODLES,IT WORKED,AND KEPT THE UNIT FLYING,THIS IS HOW YOU REDUCE THE HELICOPTER BUDGET,BUT WHO LISTENS TOO,OWNERS AND OPERATERS,WHO HAVE 40 YEARS IN THIS BUSINESS,,,GOOD LUCK DEKALB ,AND YOU WILL BE REWARDED IN HAVEN WITH A 3 PARTY CHECK.

Anonymous said...

I saw Rancifer the other day, and he is now the director of public safety for for another agency. And he is sad otver the state of affairs with DKPD but not surpized. And he was not run off by anyone as stated before.He stayed a year longer than he had plan to 31 years in. And to you and the others who run this blog, you hate so much because you have no chance of making rank for whatever you are lacking to be a good officer. Because all you do is try to tear people down on here. Hopely one day you will learn that it takes hard work tro become a leader, which will never happen for folks who sprew evil, as you do on this blog.It's no wonder we get no respect on the streets. You complain about everything and everyone. And the sad thing is we are way worst off now than we where before Rancifer left us to take another job.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord man, learn to spell!