The Sheriff's New Toy
Budget shortfalls and projected layoffs haven't gotten in the way the Broward Sheriff's Office buying a brand-new toy.
It's a Eurocopter EC135 made in Germany. Estimated cost: $4 million. See this link on the purchase of a new audio system for the new helicopter.
Don't make a mistake: The sheriff's office needs helicopters -- they're used for important things like catching killers and transporting hurt people. But a new one being purchased now, while people are being laid off and the sheriff is claiming he can't find anywhere to make cuts, just doesn't seem right. Forgoing such a luxury would obviously save dozens of jobs that are being lost now.
The sheriff has been asked to cut $60 million out of his budget. He's basically saying he can't do it. Earlier this week, Al Lamberti threatened to pull deputies out of our schools due to the money shortage.
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The sheriff's air support unit, with an annual budget of $3.2 million, has boasted three helicopters for several years. BSO's website, however, is contradictory on how many it has today. In one spot, it says it has three Eurocopters, but in a caption under a photo, there is an indication the agency has four.
I sent questions about the need and cost of the new helicopter to the extensive team of media-relations professionals working for Sheriff Lamberti and will update when I get a response.
Inside, you can see a piece of video that gives you a real good look at one of these birds.
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