Helicopters help avert dangerous pursuits

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 - 3:04 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2014 - 6:40 am

Re "Police pursuits costing more than they're worth" (Bruce Maiman, April 8): When, former CHP Commissioner Glen Craig asked this former legislative staffer in the early '70s to evaluate the use of helicopters in law enforcement, I remember citing the biggest benefit as officer safety. While that remains true today, a close second would have to be the ability to shut down increasingly dangerous high speed pursuits.

While Maiman's piece suggests that some pursuits might be trivial, no peace officer can be sure what might motivate a driver to flee. Flight itself is a crime, so what message does that send to public safety professionals?

Pursuing officers will be safer, as will the general public, as long as rotary aircraft are on patrol and remain an essential tool in public safety.

-- Jerry M. Haleva, Sacramento

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