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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81524 Find in a Library
Title: Aircraft Used for Law Enforcement - An Analysis of Costs
Author(s): R A Raub; B L Henry
Corporate Author: Illinois Dept of Law Enforcement
Division of Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: Illinois Dept of Law Enforcement
Springfield, IL 62706
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The costs of operating airplanes for law enforcement are examined, and costs are compared between the use of an airplane for traffic enforcement and a similar type of enforcement by officers on the ground.
Abstract: All fixed and variable costs associated with an airplane's operation are used, including pilots' salaries, cost of facilities, cost of assistance by officers on the ground, and depreciation. Cost data were obtained from sources kept by the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement. Total aircraft operating costs were $96 per hour. When the airplanes are used for line highway patrol, including the cost of assistance by officers on the ground, the average cost per mile of patrol is $1.33 compared to an average cost per of $1.08 dollars per mile for the same type of patrol performed by a solo police officer on ground patrol; however, the pilots produce more activity for the miles patrolled than an equivalent number of officers on the ground. From this perspective, aerial patrol is less costly than ground patrol for traffic law enforcement. When used for enforcement of traffic laws at a specific location, particularly speed enforcement, the airplane is far superior for the detection of flagrant violators. The primary benefit of the airplane is its ability to observe violations in different sections of the highway separated by several miles while remaining undetected by violators. Operation costs, however, are about 75 percent more than the costs of a ground detail using a radar operator and chase vehicles. Making the aircraft more cost effective would require greater productivity from supporting ground personnel. Tabular data, 19 notes, and 14 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Aircraft; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Police equipment; Traffic law enforcement; Traffic monitoring equipment
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