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Possible source of funding for LE Helo purchase-Can you help?


Ganja Warrior
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I am a Lt. at the Lake County Sheriff's Office in Lake County California and we are seeking to purchase or lease purchase an R44. I recently received a memo from the county that we are eligible to apply for $850K in Indian gaming money. However, the program has some VERY restrictive requirements (which I suspect was written like this to intentionally give the impression the casinos are "giving back" when in actuality no agency can really meet the requirements of the funding, thereby not really costing the casinos a dime). Anyway, below is the criteria. I am hoping there may be people smarter than me out there than have some creative outside the box ideas on how we can grab some of this cash. Here is the deal:

 

Existing California law established the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund for the purpose of collecting and distributing funds to eligible agencies in local jurisdictions for specific uses related to the mitigation of impacts of tribal gaming operations.

 

Locally, both Big Valley Rancheria and Robinson Rancheria are obligated to pay into this fund. The money paid by each tribe is deposited into an individual County Tribal Casino Account and then distributed by an Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee in the form of grants to local agencies and departments impacted by tribes with gaming operations, including those tribes that pay into the fund and those that do not.

 

This memo is to notify you that County departments are eligible to apply for these funds:

o $189,343.29 to mitigate impacts from Konocti Vista Casino.

o $495,916.62 to mitigate impacts from Robinson Rancheria Casino.

o $171,314.97 to mitigate impacts from Twin Pine Casino.

 

If your department chooses to apply, complete the enclosed application form and submit it along with a sponsorship letter from the tribe that operates the casino that caused the impacts. Please submit an original plus 6 copies (total of 7) of the form and any attachment(s) to the County Administrative Office no later than Tuesday, March 31, 2009.

 

As your department considers projects for funding, please be aware of recent changes in law, pursuant to Assembly Bill 158, requiring that requested funds only be used to finance the proportionate share of the expenditure that will mitigate the impact from the casino. Important Note: It is, thus, critical that the amount of funds requested for the project is in the same proportion to the total cost of the project as the amount of impact from the casino bears to the total impact addressed by the project.

 

Categories eligible for funding are:

Law Enforcement

Fire Services

Emergency Medical Services

Water Supplies

Waste Disposal

Recreation and Youth Programs

Behavioral Health

Public Health

Environmental Impacts

Roads

Planning and Land Use

Child Care Programs

 

Some particulars:

 

County population: Approx 70,000

1260 square miles

California's largest natural lake is centerpiece with communities along it's 110 miles shoreline. Casino's are located on about three corners of county

 

Casino impacts include traffic congestion, drug dealing, dui, theft, forgery, ems response etc..

 

The biggest problem we and most agencies will have is the inability to provide any type of accurate stats how much day to day issues have a connection to the casinos. IE: Was either of the drivers in the TC 5 miles from the casinos coming from or going to the casino? Most beat cops wouldn't ask that question.

 

I do not expect to be able meet their requirements, but before I toss it in the shredder, I thought I'd put it out there and see what kind of input you all might have.

 

Any way hit me up or post your thoughts if you think you can give me a hand.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Ganja Warrior
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"Was either of the drivers in the TC 5 miles from the casinos coming from or going to the casino? Most beat cops wouldn't ask that question."

 

Having only until recently been a Sebastopol/Petaluma resident, that surprises me. Especially given how often the roads up there get clogged with folks running off the side of the road.

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What is the intended use of the helicopter? Is there really a need, or do you just want one?

We currently spend over $100K renting helicopters from commercial operators at ridiculous rates for very little actual usable flight time due to extended round trip ferry time and repeated re-fuels.

 

My helicopter rental budget this should be enough to fly an R44 about 400 hours-yes we have a need. All of this funding is for a specific drug enforcement purpose. We want to be able to use the helicopter for general LE support, SAR etc.

 

Our funding source for counter drug ops won't actually purchase the aircraft but will pay for operating costs or rental costs.

 

I need to find funds to purchase the A/C then use the existing funds for operating costs/maintenance.

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We currently spend over $100K renting helicopters from commercial operators at ridiculous rates for very little actual usable flight time due to extended round trip ferry time and repeated re-fuels.

 

My helicopter rental budget this should be enough to fly an R44 about 400 hours-yes we have a need. All of this funding is for a specific drug enforcement purpose. We want to be able to use the helicopter for general LE support, SAR etc.

 

Our funding source for counter drug ops won't actually purchase the aircraft but will pay for operating costs or rental costs.

 

I need to find funds to purchase the A/C then use the existing funds for operating costs/maintenance.

 

A couple of ideas.

 

First. I gather, since you are renting from companies that have to ferry, refuel, etc, that you are mostly using a helicopter for preplanned missions(not short notice). If that is the case, have you ever thought about contacting the CHP air operations program and asking for service on special details. If they do help, it would be of no cost to you or the county. They have a very good program and fly Astar B3s with FLIR, Night Sun, and Rescue Hoist capabilities. They are staffed with a Pilot and Paramedic and routinely do Medevacs. They also have fixed wing Cessna T206s that can provide aerial surveillance, speed enforcement, aerial searches, etc. I'm sure if asked, they would be more than happy to help.

 

Second. In reference to justifying the purchase of an aircraft, three words- "Traffic Congestion relief". Congestion relief, by its nature, involves several facets of "air support" that could be provided by a helicopter. For example; Monitoring all roads used to get to the casino(aerial surveillance or patrol). Patrolling the same roads for traffic violations such as passing over double yellows, speeding, etc (aerial enforcement). Managing pursuits involved on those roads (aerial pursuit management). Searching for overdue parties, vehicles over the side, missing persons, etc (aerial search). The list goes on and on, but I think you probably get the drift. There are several other avenues to justify the cost, but don't forget to include "Traffic Congestion Relief".

 

Go to the ALEA (airborne law enforcement association) website and I think you will find a lot of beneficial information and some answers to a lot of your questions. There are articles, based upon research, that spell out the benefits of having airborne law enforcement. Good Luck.

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