In 2009 they cost 1.2 million to operate. Some police tell Fox59 they're angry at the cuts saying the copters are an important tool in the police toolbox to fight crime. They say Mayor Ballard campaigned policing and community safety was his number one priority.
"Yes, it concerns me a lot how are they going to catch the criminal if they don't have helicopters," said Brenda Kent, an eastside resident.
"He's actually not living up to what he said," said Janice Hall, an eastside resident. "Sometimes (politicians) say what they have to say, just to get elected."
The helicopters were reportedly used to track convicted murderer Brian Reese who shot officer Jason Fishburn and hunt for the two killers in the Hamilton Avenue Murders.
"They should find the money for it. They shouldn't cut it," said Hall.
Mayor Ballard would not comment directly on the apparent cuts saying he has never wavered in his commitment to public safety and the citizens of Indianapolis.
Public Safety director Frank Straub said the helicopters are extremely expensive to operate and there must be clarity about their effectives (sic?).
State police maintain four helicopters at an annual operating cost of about 1.4 million dollars.
Other Midwest cities have helicopters including Columbus that
has six, Louisville that has one, Chicago has two.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Mayor Ballard Reveals His Elitist Political Agenda, Places Public Safety Behind Millions More for the Indiana Pacers
Fox 59 reports that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department helicopters have been grounded:
This is the sort of thing that once again reaffirms the Mayor's elitist, out-of-touch agenda. It costs $1.2 million a year to operate the IMPD helicopters. Meanwhile, Mayor Ballard has his former chief of staff and current appointee to the Capital Improvement Board, Paul Okeson, busy negotiating with the Pacers as to how Indianapolis taxpayers will assume $15 million a year in operating costs on Conseco Fieldhouse from the billionaire Simons family, an expenditure that is not even necessitated by the Pacers' contract. Oh, and did I mention that the Pacers would be getting 100% of the revenue off a building we taxpayers would be paying to operate?
Mayor Ballard needs to do the Marion County Republican Party a favor and announce he won't run for a second term. Enough is enough.