Monday, July 01, 2013

Michigan State Police helicopters help combat crime to mixed reviews

The presence of Michigan State Police helicopters has generally been welcomed in cities such as Detroit hoping to take a bite out of crime.  But in Grand Rapids, the idea of State Police helicopters swooping in to spot and help catch bad guys didn’t sit too well. The noise and disruption caught some off guard, and residents flooded police and elected officials with complaints. For now, those patrols have been stopped.

As state officials seek to help urban cities with their growing crime problems, some residents do not necessarily favor bringing in the helicopters given the stereotypes of their use to fight crime in cities like Los Angeles.  “Some people say we’re not L.A. or we’re not New York,” said Grand Rapids commissioner Elias Lumpkins Jr., who supports bringing back the helicopters to help fight crime. The area he represents grapples with some of the worst crime in the city, but many of the complaints, he said, came from other areas.

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