Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia says his office will begin auditing the Los Angeles Police Department’s use of helicopters.
Mejia announced plans for the audit on social media, including the L.A. Controller’s official Twitter and TikTok accounts.
The audit is set to begin this month and the results will be released in the summer, the Controller’s Office says.
The purpose for the audit, according to Mejia, is get answers regarding a number of questions related to their use, including: the overall cost of the helicopter program, whether or not their use reduces crime or leads to over-policing, and what effect the regular use of police helicopters has on Los Angeles citizens.
The LAPD Air Support Division has 17 helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft and, according to Mejia’s post, the price of the division is not explicitly stated or defined in the Department’s overall budget.
Citing previous media reports, although no direct links were provided, Mejia estimates that the yearly operating budget for the air fleet is in the ballpark of $30 million.
Mejia was elected City Controller in November in a race in which he defeated then-city councilmember Paul Koretz. The longshot campaign was driven by an ambitious and unconventional social media campaign that saw the certified public accountant propelled into the public eye.
Backed by a progressive group of supporters, as part of his campaign, Mejia promised to take a deep look into the city’s expenses in search of waste and corruption.
In a tweet, Mejia said: “Today’s economic conditions may burden LA’s finances. City resources MUST be used effectively.”
The exact date for the beginning of the audit, or the date when results will be provided to the public, were not released.