Monday, May 21, 2012

San Mateo County, California: Sheriff wants new plane

Crime may not pay for those on the wrong side of the law but more than $700,000 nabbed in drug forfeitures will help the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office buy a new plane for in-air law enforcement.   On Tuesday, Sheriff Greg Munks will ask the Board of Supervisors to approve the purchase and modification of a 2012 Cessna 206 plane. The aircraft, including tax, is valued at $682,731 with $31,013 in modifications. The $713,744 total purchase price will be completely covered by asset forfeiture funds which have already been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The new plane will replace the 1980 Cessna 206 currently used by the all-volunteer Sheriff’s Air Squadron. The 32-year-old plane is electronically outdated and too noisy for suburban, semi-rural surveillance, Munks wrote to the board in his request.  The plans are used for counter drug surveillance, search and rescue and other types of investigative missions. Unlike ground surveillance, the planes are virtually undetectable which make them “an invaluable asset” in surveillance of drug traffickers, according to Munks.

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