Friday, February 25, 2011

DeKalb Grounds Police Helicopter's Patrols

By Megan Matteucci
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DeKalb County residents will no longer see a police helicopter patrolling overhead.

DeKalb's police helicopter was grounded to meet a $4.7 million budget cut, according to a memo obtained by the AJC.
Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com DeKalb's police helicopter was grounded to meet a $4.7 million budget cut, according to a memo obtained by the AJC.

DeKalb Chief William O’Brien grounded the helicopter to meet a $4.7 million budget cut, according to a memo obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Effective immediately, helicopter response to calls for service is very limited. Aerial Support is suspending all helicopter activities, operations and call-outs,” Assistant Chief Lisa A. Gassner wrote to staff on Thursday.

The helicopter will only be used for critical public safety emergencies, such as floods and officer-involved shootings, police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said. The officers assigned to the flight unit have been given other duties within the Special Operations division, Parish said.

Parish said the fuel, maintenance and other expenses associated with the helicopter are too costly during the current budget crunch. On Tuesday, the County Commission rejected a proposed property tax increase and voted to cut $33.6 million from the 2011 budget.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

They forgot to say: And for the personal trips by the CEO, Wiz and all their friends!

Anonymous said...

Politics
The recommendation or intent of the BOC reductions specifically calls for the elimination of Wiz Miller and his staff from the County Budget,
Anyone else wonder why Wiz is still around but they chose to ground the helicopter.
Politics and the CEO chose to play the police card first.

Anonymous said...

BINGO 8:49 PM. We're ALL being USED. Thanks Burrell - you're a little slicker than VJ, but underneath no better.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance!!!!!!!!! It was nothing more than a flying flashlight. Personal reassigned back to Special Ops????????? As what? TAC? TSU?

Uniform needs "fresh meat".

Why not put them on a beat, in a unit, working calls?

Anonymous said...

Well at least now the criminals know which County to commit their crimes in, of course "Dekalb" where the taking is prime, come rob, shoot, burglarize, and murder. Are equipment is grounded, academy shut down, and you may get on an episode of "The first 48", hell yea!!!

Anonymous said...

Since they are already by the property room, have them get that place organized. Its a mess there due to not enough people and moroons that send in anything they find on the side of the road.

Anonymous said...

No reduction is services my ass.

Anonymous said...

Nothing against ASU, but look on the bright side people. When people ask you where Recorders Court, Magistrate Court, the jail, etc., you can tell them it is the building adjacent to the one with the helicopter on top! It makes for a very good landmark.

Anonymous said...

So if the ASU has been reassigned and 90 will only be used for special emergencies, I guess the special emergencies will be scheduled. COME ON "Leaders of Dekalb" Geeeesh!

Anonymous said...

O.K. we've grounded the helicopters, Wiz Miller position is gone, privatized the ambulance service, but I can't understand why I just saw a DeKalb County Police Unit 10851 in Newton County on Salem Road isn't that way out of juridiction? They way to save money, wear and tear of county vehicles would be to leave the car's at the precincts. Maintenance and repairs would go down drastically. Gas consumption would go down (gas prices are increasing by the hour). How do you expect to save money if you continously let these officers drive 50+ miles round trip. I realize money is tight and times are very hard, but what gives them the privlage to be expempt. Just saying!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:50 - Was it a K9 car? A bomb officer? Do you think officers throw the dog in their personal vehicles and drive them home? Do you think they put the dogs in a storage locker at the end of the shift? What if it was a SWAT guy? If someone is holding your loved ones hostage, do you want the SWAT team coming from home in their Honda Accords, windows down, making the Danny Glover siren noise out the window? Think before you post. I also am "just saying".

Anonymous said...

No K-9 involved. I know. Just saying!!

Anonymous said...

Thank u anon 7:54am geesh...anon 5:00pm quit hating good lord....if u were somebody u would have a take home..ijs.

Anonymous said...

Gwinnett PD gives a brand new take home to every single officer and even some civilians and has done so for 50+ years. It actually saves money from a fleet system, increases officers on the street, and increases moral.