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LAPD to Get Two Surplus Army Planes

Because of military downsizing, the Los Angeles Police Department has been offered two small passenger planes that police will use to transport criminals and witnesses from outside the city.

The Army says it will donate the planes from military surplus to replace two smaller planes that the LAPD had been using for several years.

The Beechcraft turboprops--worth $1.8 million--will replace a Cessna 310 and a Piper Navajo, which the LAPD will sell, generating up to $250,000 for the department.

On Monday, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to accept the planes.

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The LAPD will try to rely on only one of the new planes, leaving the other for emergencies or spare parts, said LAPD Capt. John Trundle, of the air support division.

The donated aircraft can carry about eight passengers and will be used to take investigators to remote locations to interview witnesses or to transport prisoners to Los Angeles for prosecution or questioning, Trundle said.

The plane will reduce travel time for investigators who have to journey to remote locations that are not served by commercial airlines, he said.

In addition, the plane will reduce the hassle of transporting prisoners on commercial airplanes. “Commercial airlines are real reluctant to have handcuffed people in their airplanes,” Trundle said.


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