BSO Says It Needs a $6.5 Million Helicopter Because the Other Three It Has Are Needy

Categories: Broward News
broward.org
One of the three helicopters the BSO currently has. The sheriff's office says it needs another one.
The Broward Commission will be deciding today whether the Broward Sheriff's Office gets $6,505,593 for a new helicopter.

Sure, they already have three other helicopters -- the most recent one being purchased in March 2010 -- but the sheriff's office apparently needs a brand new one, because the three other helicopters are having "increasing maintenance issues."

Letters and memos attached to the commission agenda show this has already been approved by Sheriff Al Lamberti and other county administrative people, and looks like it's all but a done deal pending the commission's approval.

According to a letter to the county budget director from Bureau of Grants Management Director Michael Somberg, the new helicopter provides both emergency medical and law enforcement services for the county.

This new EC-135 helicopter the sheriff's office wants -- the third EC-135 helicopter they'd have -- would be ready to go by fall of this year, the letter says.

That helicopter the sheriff's office bought used in March 2010 cost a little over $2.5 million, and just started being used in August 2011.

Now the BSO apparently needs another one -- a new one.

"Purchasing another used helicopter is not the best route to go for the acquisition of an additional helicopter," Somberg writes. "Finding another helicopter with low flight hours as a result of an estate sale is not an option at this time and a new helicopter will allow BSO to have it built to our specifications and it will have a two-year warranty which will significantly reduce overall expenses for its operation."

That's apparently the reason that the three other helicopters aren't quite cutting it -- maintenance.

The other three are having "increasing maintenance issues" -- both scheduled and unscheduled -- and only one of the three helicopters have been working about 67 percent of the time.

Also, for the three current helicopters, the BSO generally keeps two pilots on per shift.

The letter from Somberg explains that they're going to increase helicopter usage over at the sheriff's office, and predicts that the new $6.5 million helicopter purchase will eventually be a cost-saving measure.

The funds are coming from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, and the commission will be bringing the issue up at today's meeting.


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6 comments
FQS9000
FQS9000

Our tax dollars at work.  Why in the hell do they need a helo to transport the sick in Broward county?  There aren't any hills, mountains, rivers, snow, or fog.  Turn on the little flashing light thingy and you can be in a hospital from anywhere in the county in five minutes.  Or you could make the deputies drop their doughnuts and clear a lane.  As for law enforcement, just how many times a month do they really need a helo to nab a perp?  My guess is only a couple of times per year does a felon have a car that can out run a cruiser.

This is all crap and an utter waste of tax payer funds.  I do remember the OJ Simpson helo chase.

Lickme
Lickme

You are a true brainiac!  Ignorance and stupidity together is a mix I'm afraid of, and therefore I'm afraid of YOU!  You really think that in a life-threatening situation where seconds count, that a helicopter wouldn't get the patient or victim to the hospital faster???  Really FQS9000?   You also clearly know "Jack Schitt" about law enforcement either.  They use helicopters more than daily to "nab perps," as you so eloquently called it.  It's not from them fleeing in a car either Mister Rocket Scientist, it's for perimeters, searches, and bird's eye viewing of scenes.  Do us all a favor pal, crawl back under your rock and go back to sleep for another 30 years!  Adios Douchey!

FQS9000
FQS9000

Horse patucky.  The county ain't that big.  There are plenty of hospitals.  By the time the helo gets off the ground, an ambulance could have been there and gone.  And there are still no rivers, hills, mountains, fog, snow, or windy roads in Broward county.

As for LE operations, helos doing searches?  Ha, what are they going to find, a house that is running away?  Perimeters, for $600K you can pay for lots of cops to stand on the street corners (this doesn't include maintenance or the pilots).  And how many 'birdseye' views of any outdoor crime scene provide any useful evidence of a damn thing.

You are merely some type of LE shill pimping away for yet another trendy chunk of junk which makes the cops feel really, REALLY important.  I'd rather the cops spent more time entrapping the local punks and less money flying around feeling cool.

JOEYPAD
JOEYPAD

so aho give me agood reason they need 4 helos..you are so fkin smart

Lickme
Lickme

@Joeypad-The reason is that helicopters require maintenance, based upon the number of hours of use.  With BSO having only three, they had a single helicopter only available 80% of the time.  In a catastrophe, in an emergency, or serious injury evac, criminal apprehension, etc. you need to have them available 100% of the time.  If it were for you or a loved one, you would want it 100% of the time too, right.  Listen, there have even been times where more than one can be in use or on a critical operation at the same time.  So, having just one available all the time, isn't even the ideal situation and BSO couldnt even do that.  By not being able to do this, the agency is unable to serve the citizens properly and effectively.  If you divide the cost of the chopper vs. the years it will be in service, the value to law enforcement and rescues, and the lives it will save, it is a very small price to pay.  Don't make public servants beg to be given the tools they need to protect us!  And if you do, dont expect the type of critical services and response times you get, as a result of a failure to support them (equipment, budget, personnel, etc)@Joeypad:twitter 

How's that for explaining it...???

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