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Brokers to sell former police helicopters

Two private brokers will sell ABLE's three specialized aircraft, equipment.

January 23, 2012|By Joseph Serna

The Airborne Law Enforcement agency has tapped two private brokers to sell off what remains of the former police helicopter program.

Jack Schafer Aircraft Sales will likely be the first to get a crack at selling ABLE's three police choppers, which were grounded in July after the Costa Mesa City Council voted to stop funding its half of the agency that it shared with Newport Beach.

Newport quickly followed suit, and ever since the program, which had a run of 30-plus years, has been slowly shutting down.

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Schafer, a longtime local aircraft broker, will get a 4.5% commission on any sale, according to the company's contract. The contract will last 30 days, with an option to renew for another 30 days.

Meanwhile, Alabama-based GovDeals Inc., an auction firm that deals mostly online, will try to sell off the agency's equipment that isn't being absorbed back into either Newport Beach's or Costa Mesa's police department.

Like Schafer's contract, GovDeals has a month-long agreement. Its contract charges the prospective buyer a 5% premium on top of the purchase price, giving ABLE the full value of its equipment.

ABLE's board also gets final approval before any sale is completed.

Shortly after ABLE was grounded, Costa Mesa contracted with Huntington Beach to use its police helicopter on an as-needed basis for $700 an hour. Newport also struck its own deal with Huntington for regular patrols instead of just emergency responses.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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