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By Joseph Serna | March 31, 2009
If a Costa Mesa teenager had flashed his laser at Costa Mesa police helicopter earlier this month as police claim, it was only by accident and for just a second, nothing meriting an arrest, the man’s mother said Tuesday. “The helicopter was nowhere near where he was shining that light,” said Erica Andrews, whose 19-year-old son, Adam, was arrested March 13. “They never saw the helicopter. I suppose it may have, way, way over there hit that helicopter. But there’s no possible way he did that intentionally, which is what he is charged with.
March 14, 2009
Police arrested a 19-year-old Costa Mesa man Friday for allegedly waving a laser pointer into the cockpit of a police helicopter. Adam Christopher Andrews, 19, was arrested about 8:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Rosemary Place after he shone a hand-held laser into the cockpit of a Costa Mesa police helicopter flying a routine patrol of the area, said Lt. Craig Epperson. The helicopter’s flight was not disrupted by the incident, he said. “There’s been a number of incidents where police officers and commercial aircrews have had their vision affected by lasers pointed at them,” Epperson said.
January 10, 2009
We knew it would happen. It was just a matter of time. The financial crunch has hit the Costa Mesa Police Department, and there are some unsavory proposals for cutting costs. But Police Chief Chris Shawkey is right about one thing: He sure as heck doesn’t want to get rid of the city’s helicopter patrol program, which also serves Newport Beach and Santa Ana. City leaders have instructed the heads of all city departments to look through their budgets for money to save, with the worsening economy forcing everyone to reduce expenses as revenues continue to decline.
By Joseph Serna | January 3, 2009
Costa Mesa police don’t want to get rid of its helicopter patrol program and will likely find little to save in its budget to help recover from the damage of an ailing economy and dwindling money for the city, Police Chief Chris Shawkey said. City leaders have instructed the heads of all city departments to look through their budgets for money to save, with the worsening economy forcing everyone to reduce expenses as revenues continue to decline. City Manager Allan Roeder said he has asked the police department to find more than $420,000 to cut by the end of the fiscal year in June.
December 31, 2008
Recently, the police department disbanded its narcotics unit and reassigned officers in the department to save money. There may be other cuts looming as the economy worsens. Should the city also consider dumping the police helicopter program?   No. The police helicopter program is a very valuable asset to the department. From a financial standpoint, the program needs to be evaluated to see if there are some cost savings. Additionally, our agreements with other cities need to be looked at for a more equitable share of the costs.
October 13, 2008
Sometimes firefighting can be fun. Like Sunday, when Newport Beach firefighters got to start a blaze and then knock it down before an undoubtedly awe-struck audience as part of the city’s open house event. Newport Beach residents who stopped by the city’s police and fire stations on Santa Barbara Drive next to Fashion Island got to tour the stations and see the people who keep them safe demonstrate how they go about doing it. Police showed off the Eagle helicopter, K-9 units and their stun guns, with one officer getting the dubious distinction to volunteer for a shocking.
By Joseph Serna | October 13, 2008
A brush fire in Bonita Canyon scorched about 35 acres Monday as Newport Beach and Costa Mesa firefighters battled for nearly two hours to contain the blaze. Three helicopters, dipping into the conveniently close San Joaquin Reservoir, helped douse the blaze, which started about 3:30 p.m., while firefighters from several cities raced to the canyon as Santa Ana winds powered the flames up the hillside. Authorities contained the blaze about 5:15 p.m. with small spot fires that are expected to be extinguished overnight.
By Joseph Serna | October 10, 2008
A national nonprofit organization that advocates using aircraft in law enforcement saluted a pair of Newport-Mesa police officers who coordinated the rescue of a Santa Ana man drowning off Newport Beach last week, authorities said Friday. Costa Mesa pilot and police Officer Vern Hupp and Newport Beach police Officer Robert Rivers were flying the Eagle police helicopter used by local departments Oct. 3 when authorities were called to the rocks off of Cameo Shores and Brighton roads to rescue a man who fell off a rock while fishing and floated out to sea. Hupp and Rivers flew to the area and soon located a young man floating face down in the water about 20 yards off shore.
June 16, 2008
Newport Beach and Costa Mesa safety responders rescued a woman Saturday in Crystal Cove State Park after she fell off her mountain bike and injured her head and facial areas, police said. At about 10:35 a.m., the Newport Beach Police Department received a cellphone call stating that Karen Joyce, 39, had fallen off her bike in a remote wilderness area. Two Costa Mesa officers in a helicopter located Joyce, and Officer Rob Dimel rendered first aid to her, Newport Beach Sgt. Evan Sailor said in a release.
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