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USA: controversy over Police helicopter costs

Municipal administration carries out first hearing on LAPD fleet

There is controversy over the Los Angeles Police Department, the police department of the US city spends 46 million dollars a year for the management of its fleet of helicopters: this is approximately 3000 dollars for each hour of flight. This is what emerged during a hearing that raises numerous questions about the economic and environmental impact of the security and surveillance program of the American metropolis. 

A waste of taxpayers' money? The city's comptroller of public accounts, Kenneth Mejia, who together with his staff conducted the first hearing on the Air Support Division, the airborne operations of the LAPD, tried to answer this question. The result? "There is limited external monitoring of practices established in the 1970s to understand whether they align with the city's current needs", Mejia said. 

The report, put in black and white at the end of the hearing, highlighted that 61% of the flight hours carried out by the 17 helicopters that make up the fleet were not part of priority missions. This is an initiative implemented after reports from some citizen committees and local organizations. LAPD Chief Michel Moore responded, "Flights often allow us to respond to calls for service ahead of our patrols, assisting officers with sensitive information and situational awareness".

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency