I saw one blue jay so far this year, but I see the LAPD helicopters several times a day!
The Los Angeles Police department’s airborne law enforcement program began with one helicopter in 1956. This helicopter, a Hiller 12J was assigned primarily for traffic patrol of the City’s freeway system and was assigned to the traffic Enforcement Division. In 1957 after a full year in operation, the “Helicopter Unit” flew 775 hours.
It is hard not to see a Los Angeles helicopter of some kind when you peer into the sky’s of Southern California.
Today the LAPD fleet at full capacity, consists of:
- 12 Aerospatiale B-2 Astars
- 4 Bell 206 Jet Rangers
- 1 UH1H “Huey” helicopter
- 1 King Air 200 – Airplane
A study commissioned by NASA and conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Space Technology Applications Office confirmed the study and report findings as follows:
- The number of Part 1 Property Crimes is reduced when an LAPD helicopter is overhead.
- The number of arrests associated with radio calls is three times higher with the involvement of LAPD aircrews.
- The citizens of Los Angeles accept helicopter patrols as a necessary part of the City’s police system and strongly favor their continuation.
- Department ground based officers universally support a strong airborne law enforcement program within the department.