Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/02/28/state/n093827S65.DTL#ixzz1FHNWtnARThe San Jose Police Department is temporarily grounding its helicopter to save money.
Sgt. Jason Dwyer told the San Jose Mercury News the department will halt use of the chopper for at least three months, then evaluate its saving and actual impact on public safety.
The chopper costs the department about $1.4 million to run each year - mostly for pilot salary and benefits. Any actual savings would be about $400,000 in fuel and maintenance.
Four officers designated as pilots will be transferred back to patrol. The department could still use a fixed-wing airplane.
The chopper shutdown comes as the city faces a $110 million budget deficit. The 1,250-officer department also faces possible officer layoffs, which city officials have currently estimated could total up to 350.
Probably not. Hunting trail poachers is critical.