Law Enforcement Helicopters Under Fire?
The Orange County Register ran an interesting article today entitled, "Police helicopter programs get trimmed" by reporter Annie Burris, in which the impact of tightened budgets on airborne law enforcement operations in Orange County is discussed. You can read the entire article HERE. Be sure to examine the photo array that is also linked to that article for some terrific shots that demonstrate the value of helicopter patrols.
A.B.L.E. AND OTHERS
The article comments on the A.B.L.E. program, which is run as a joint venture by the Costa Mesa Police Department and the Newport Beach Police Department, with Santa Ana also participating as a contracting agency. It also mentions the airborne units operated by Huntington Beach, Anaheim, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol.
AIRBORNE BUDGETS DISCUSSED
The A.B.L.E. program, which operates a fleet of three Eurocopters, has been part of extensive discussions recently as both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach wrestle with diminishing revenues.
SEEKING OUT THE BERRYS?
The article presents many pro-helicopter viewpoints from members of law enforcement so, during her investigation of this subject the reporter wanted to get comments from residents who might have a less-than-positive viewpoint of airborne policing. At the suggestion of another Register staffer the author tried to contact the perky Judi Berry - she who fancies herself the municipal fiscal watchdog - for comment. Unfortunately, she was apparently not available, so Burris interviewed that paragon of pomposity, her husband, Mike Berry.
MIKE INSERTS BOTH FEET
According to Burris, old Mike, while acknowledging that helicopters are useful, "wonders if the agencies are getting the best bang for their buck." She goes on to quote Mike as saying, "Once you satisfy the need of people on the ground, then spend the leftover money on a helicopter. The county has more realistic need for one but when it comes to a five (miles) by five (miles) city (of Costa Mesa) you could cover it with a Moped."
ENDEARING HIMSELF TO THE CMPD
I'm sure the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department will be quite pleased to learn that old Mike thinks our city could receive effective law enforcement coverage if the staff used Mopeds. I suggest we use their Westside neighborhood as a test site. How about, for the remainder of the year, any calls for service received for addresses within a half mile of the Berry's residence be responded to by an officer on a Moped?
PUNCH, ER, MIKE AND JUDI
Those of us who have been observers of city politics are familiar with the Judi and Mike tag team. They frequently appear as a "doubles team", each stepping up to the podium to present their wisdom for the City Council to hear. Actually, it's usually Judi who presents the more cogent views, while Mike just prattles on, demonstrating his lack of understanding of the issues, but doing it with bravado, bluster and flare.
SOURCE OF COMMUNITY INPUT?! YIKES!
The fact that old Mike continues to willingly display his ignorance for all to see is scary enough. Of greater concern is the fact that someone at the Orange County Register thought that he was a good source for community input! Geez! That's like asking our old pal, The Mouth From Mesa North, about the positive influence of Latino culture on our society, for goodness sake!