Virginia Beach, Va. Police Dept Give Helicopter Rides to Millionaires

I’d like to know when Virginia Beach residents thought is was a great idea to give millionaires tour rides in the VBPD helicopter!? Whether the it is utilized as a nightingale backup, catch legitimate bad guys, or routine flight ops, the police helicopter is for O F F I C I A L USE ONLY! Let these millionaires hire private businesses to give theses people tours of the city if they want to fly that bad!

Below is the story conducted by the local news station.

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM
Updated Wednesday, Jan 11 at 6:42 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia Beach is implementing a written policy to safeguard the use of its police helicopter.

13News obtained a draft administrative directive that allows the city’s Economic Development Department to use the police helicopter to provide aerial tours for clients on an as available, as needed basis.

A spokesman for Virginia Beach Police tells 13News that the police department “wholeheartedly” supports the draft administrative directive. He added the only major caveat would be that police work always takes precedent over the tours.

“We’re not here to give somebody a pleasure ride at taxpayers expense. I just think it’s the wrong way to go,” said Robert Dean.

Dean believes even though the economic development department would shift money from its budget to the police budget for fuel costs, the use of the police chopper for tours sends the wrong message.

“But to constantly use this helicopter for police and public safety expenditure for economic development is wrong,” said Dean.

A spokesperson for the City of Virginia Beach said the police helicopter is only used for economic development tours a few times a year.

The draft advance directive says that in order for economic development to use the helicopter for tours, the potential project must exceed $5 million in private investment, must create at least 50 new jobs, showcase multiple potential sites, and prospects must be aligned with the current targeted industry markets.

Council member Harry Diezel says using the police helicopter for economic development during downtime makes sense.

“It does not do well to just sit and to only use it when a call comes in. Those are highly sophisticated and highly maintained pieces of equipment,” said Diezel adding, “I don’t think any city has the luxury to just fence itself in and not deal with the larger community issues. That to me is what’s happening here.”

Virginia Beach has two police helicopters. Police departments in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Hampton do not have helicopters.

Regionally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police told 13News it does have a police helicopter; however, a spokesperson said it is only used for public safety purposes.

The city says the administrative directive could be finalized in the next few weeks.


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  • ElRojo

    This is exactly why police departments cannot be allowed to have tanks or other armored vehicles. Once they get the thing, they have to start thinking up ways to utilize them, ya know, so they don’t “just sit there”. Cops get a shiny new toy, that they really didn’t need in the first place, at the cost of millions of taxpayers money and rather than discussing the viability of the continued ownership of that excess, they just find other uses for it to continue to justify it. Typical.

  • Accountability

    * Said sarcastically*

    Hey, if the majority of police officers have no clues to what the law actually allows “such” as in the case of citizens video/photographing police in public, how the hell do you expect these hybrid military LEOs to think and discern if it’s ok to give helicopter kiddie rides to the rich? <_<


    Here we go again. Complain about police doing police stuff.. And when they don’t do police stuff.. complain some more. 1. Taxpayers aren’t footing the bill, at least that’s how I read it. And even if it didn’t, taxes off the development would more than pay for the fuel. 2. economic development. Don’t know if anyone is aware, but we took a big hit to the economy over the recent years, and unemployment is still over 8%.. isn’t is a good idea to do what we can to help economic development? 3. As for “new toys”. Virginia beach has had a copter program for a couple decades.

  • Jim

    Yeah, here we go again with rationalizations by LEOs when they get caught flipping the taxpayers the bird – again. Since WHEN is taking potential business clients on helo tours ‘police doing police stuff’?? And just where the hell do you think the city’s ecomnomic development department – like every other city department – gets it’s money from?? The taxpayer. The same poor slobs forced to pay your salary, benes, pension and toys – like decades of helicopters. Got your APCs yet? If times are so tough, maybe it’s time to cut back on the toys. And the rest, too.


    @JIm. maybe they should just scrap the helocopter…which also doubles as a medivac. Also, not POLICE STUFF….but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t bitch about a cop helo lifting an injured kid to the hospital even though that’s not “police stuff”… Regardless, the helo is most likely going to be up in the air so many hours a day, I don’t see an issue with a few hours a month spent trying to bring jobs, or development to the area.. guess you do..


    Here is some more wasted tax dollars. Where’s the thread on this one???


    Still waiting for someone to complain about the police and fire department spending tax dollars to help out a kid with lukemea…. Come on guys!! Don’t let me down! Remember, the police can’t do anything right!

  • Freedle

    In general I’m not much of a fan of any police department but I have no problems with a city multitasking an asset. Having a business dump $5 mil in a community and then the bounce through that community is huge. That $5 mil and 50 employee minimum turns into many times each on an ongoing basis. In the grand scheme of things, that’s one cheap helicopter ride.

  • paschn

    HANDS UP!! Your eyes are glazed over… must be on DONUTS!!

  • paschn

    It only seems fair that the S.I.B.’s service their masters….they keep ’em in donuts etc..

    Vile swine.

  • halfmast

    @PSOSGT you might want to check this out

    hey help one, strangle one. Your karma must be ballanced

  • Keep on wasting the money folks. More & more of my fellow citizens will begin to do as I already do. I calculate every way in which I am able to minimize my tax burden. I fully realize that the less Money I pay into the system, the less money the system has to work against me. When more of my neighbors come to the same realization, the stronger my country will become.

  • Kenny

    For those who do not see what the big fuss is over really just don’t get it! WE the TAXPAYERS did not buy the helos for rich people’s benefits!! AGAIN, if the millionaires really want an aerial view of the job site and tour of the city, then hire a private business. I’m sure they would love the business, especially in this economic climate. Secondly, there are occasions when aerial mapping is factored into the bidding process of a particular project. Go flying then.

    If STILL can’t see the big deal, then I don’t know what else to tell you other than this… Go out, apply, and obtain a credit card. Then, take that credit card and give it to your friend, significant other (I.e.- spouse), or child and tell them its only for EMERGENCY purposes ONLY. Finally, let me know if they ever take that same credit card you handed them and used it to purchase items which do not constitute and EMRGENCY.

  • Nicol Moreland

    My name is Dr. Moreland, I recently sent out an e-mail asking everyone to sign the petition at to bring the department of justice to Albuquerque to reform our city police department. For those of you who do not know my brother in law Christopher Michael Torres was killed by 2 undercover policemen. They said they were delivering a traffic warrant and shot him in the back 3 times at point blank range within 1.5 minutes of arriving at the house. Christopher did not deserve to die. Please help me help our city and good police officers by signing the petition at the link below – PLEASE. Christopher was only 1 of 18 fatally shot in the last 2 years. 26 have been shot. There are also many other civil rights violations that have been submitted to the DOJ

    lease goto to sign – please


    You can also see the U-Tube video explaining the situation here in Albuquerque. My Mother in Law and Father in law are featured in the video. Dr. Steven and Renetta Torres. Please help!!

    Click Below to view video

    Please post the petition to your social media pages!! Please forward to your firends and colleagues.

    Thank you for your considering helping our effort in bringing a safer and more collaborative community together.

    Dr. Nicol Moreland
    Rio Rancho, NM

  • Thom

    I think it would be better if for these types of flights the city leased a helicopter for the purpose of economic development. I think that would meet with taxpayer approval. And I say that as a VB taxpayer. Mayor Sessoms, are you listening? No. I didn”t think so. Same as with expanding The Tide to VB. Neither you nor the City Council really care what us taxpayers think.

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  • L

    Portsmouth uses the Wavy News 10 helo but at least its private?