Los Angeles councilman calls for helicopter safety task force

August 20, 2007

A Los Angeles city councilman introduced a motion last week to create a helicopter safety task force to review public safety concerns in the use of news helicopters to photograph events on the ground in Los Angeles.

In the wake of a helicopter crash during the news coverage of a police chase in Phoenix, AZ, the motion by councilman Dennis P. Zine would address public safety concerns regarding the interaction of news and law enforcement helicopters and would develop recommendations to protect the safety of peace officers, news reporters and innocent bystanders at the scene.

“While public access to information is very important, public safety in highly volatile situations

is imperative,” said Zine, a member of the Public Safety Committee, retired LAPD sergeant, and current reserve officer.

If approved, the helicopter safety task force would be created within 60 days and will include LAPD, other local and state law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration, and news media organizations.

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