Costs, Dangers of Police Copters

The recent tragic mid-air collision of two police helicopters gives added weight to the arguments of those opposed to the high cost and danger of having these unstable machines above our cities. A future crash is far more likely to occur over a housing tract or busy intersection than an open field--this is Orange County, not Camp Pendleton.

Huntington Beach spends a great deal of money to operate its helicopters, but Huntington Beach showed a sharp increase in the latest crime statistics. And the cost to the taxpayer of lawsuits against the city that could arise from a helicopter crash would make the recent spate of litigation against the police seem irrelevant.

Thousands of dollars were spent on the new "silent" helicopters. Come on, who are they kidding? If a criminal can't see or hear those machines flapping about in the sky, then he wouldn't see a black and white in his rear view mirror either. And as for "inescapability," what is a helicopter to do if a fugitive disappears into a movie theater or shopping mall?

These machines are expensive, dangerous and less effective than the five or more police cars they cost. They do not belong over an urban area.

JIM BRANNIGAN

Huntington Beach

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