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Yonkers, NY

Five injured in Saw Mill parkway crash

At 10pm last night on the Cross County Parkway a car missed me by a foot. I was doing 50mph and he appeared to pass me at an additional 80mph. We're talking 120-130mph where the wide curve in the parkway is. I saw him coming up so fast in my mirror, I could not react. His motor sounded like a Nascar or Indy racer at full bore. Guys like this are a deadly menace, look what this killer on the Saw Mill did. Cars don't go fast by accident. Driving like this is no different than shooting a gun randomly with people nearby. I don't care if these guys kills themselves if it means they can never kill others.  (Jul 11, 2012 | post #9)

Yonkers, NY

Dark parkways await light work

Wait a minute... The total number of lights to be fixed under the contract sounds like about 300. If the contract is for 1.5 million that comes to $5000 per light. If it's a thousand bulbs that still $1500 each. Sounds like a how-many-dollars-does-it-take-to-replace-a-light-bulb joke.  (Dec 31, 2011 | post #1)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

For sure it's not our Westchester police doing a routine patrol. Not at that hour and certainly not with three copters. It sounds like something happened, a severe traffic accident on one of the parkways or some other critical event. I doubt all three were police. Note that TV news copters maintain somewhat higher altitude than the police. Also news copter once on scene tend to circle very slowly or hover in place while filming. If all three were police it would have been more than just Westchester AV cops which means it must have been a real serious thing.  (May 13, 2011 | post #81)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

Fair question from Joe. I been out of aviation for a while but some things don't change very much, like the flight patterns into and around LGA. I got my pilot certificate training at LGA. I flew in Westchester quite a bit. At one point a family friend in the NYPD offered to help get me into their aviation unit. I turned it down since I had no interest in having to first serve as a regular cop for a few years. My flying experience and information gleaned from public sources about current police aviation operations is the primary basis of my comments. I should add that often I can follow their flight patterns by plain old eyeballing. I've learned to recognize the pattern of the bird's lights and there's no special skill in observing how they fly. Granted I cannot follow them the duration of a flight. I might have a handle on what's happening in my area (Cross County Parkway) but I have no clue about what really counts and that's how many hours they're flying. I don't care to know and should not know exactly what they plan each day but as a taxpayers we should know what the bottom line costs are, whether it be local tax dollars or fed funding. And just what are we paying for? How many arrests a month can be attributed to the program? I know they say they "support local jurisdictions ", but that's just too fuzzy. I've read one official assertion that they prevent crime around the Yonkers casino parking lot. Not so fast...for the flight time involved for this one "benefit " we can probably budget for 5-10 new ground officers to patrol the same area. It cost thousands per hour to fly a chopper. It's always been expensive. Let them show us the numbers.  (Feb 9, 2011 | post #78)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

The sole police aviation unit in Westchester is run by the Westchester County Dept of Public safety, commonly known as the county police. Local town and city police can call them in as needed. They can pretty much cruise around wherever they like, as can any other helicopter at sufficient altitude, most likely a touch higher than 700 feet above ground level (Class E). They have a web page with minimal information at http://tinyurl.com /29sqrh8 . I read they recently rescued a father and son in trouble in the water off Peekskill. This is exactly the kind of thing we need a high operating cost heli for.  (Dec 18, 2010 | post #72)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

Bank robbers got away with $410,000 from the Chase branch on Central Ave in Yonkers earlier this evening. I happened to be driving south on Central and noted our heli was circled around the bank well after the robbers did their thing. Three patrol cars were wrapping up their investigation but there was really nothing for the copter to do. After driving past the crime scene, I parked outside the Bed,Bath and Beyond while my wife shopped inside. Our guys circled around for another 20 minutes before heading eastbound for the Bronx River Parkway, which they followed northbound towards White Plains. I could see them wandering around WP for maybe 10 minutes before heading back for their favorite stomping grounds around the raceway casino. I know this because the nearby Stop and Shop was my next stop. While walking back to my car around 8PM, I saw them head over towards 10701. I'm thinking the top brass believe that by making the av unit so visible, the bad guys will take notice and go elsewhere. Apparently that didn't work out today.  (Dec 17, 2010 | post #70)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

Yes, they were going full tilt last night and tonight. I'm near Cross County Center. Around 7-8PM tonight they were over Mt Vernon. In the areas I've seen them they're just bouncing around as if waiting for something to happen. If they were looking at something specific they would be circling over a fixed point or following a vehicle. I'm thinking of setting up a camera on my roof to create an example of how they loiter in erratic circles over Mt Vernon, just stirring up air. Think YouTube. The county should inform taxpayers exactly what's being accomplished. Exactly what incidents are they responding to? Who got arrested? What emergency situation was involved? How much time is spent on general patrol (this item is a huge money sink). I think is not unreasonable to see a daily report, like an old school police blotter report. We are paying big money for unknown results. The Westchester County Police aviation unit has a web site. They could put a daily incident report there. It's not private information. Or do we need a FOI report to find out what money is being spent on what results.  (Dec 11, 2010 | post #68)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

My son works there and yes there have a number of ripoffs in the parking lot. The crooks can see the chopper circling just like we do. I can see a deterrent effect since the chopper shows up at random times and they will spot you. But it's still a big drain on the county budget or where ever the money is coming from to pay for the near daily flights. There seems to be no way to find out exactly what the county is spending on this. Why are they being so secretive about their aviation budget? The public might be supportive and accept the noise if we knew more about it and they were not treating like some secret dark project.  (Jul 29, 2010 | post #61)

Yonkers, NY

Helicopters over East Yonkers, NY

The helicopter was extra low tonight in order to stay well under planes heading into LGA's runway 22. I've noticed they really like to circle around the northwest corner of Mt Vernon. It does not appear they are focused on a particular block, car, or persons. I never see a spotlight. Even if they are doing a IR search they would not be flying like this. BTW, this costs a lot of your county tax money. Look here: http://www.conklin dd.com/Page.aspx?c id=1118 (I mention the helicopter type in an earlier post). Figure double for the police crew and other overhead.  (Apr 13, 2010 | post #54)