Using helicopters to detect carjackings is a bad idea

It’s a horrible idea to provide the Chicago Police Department and Cook County with helicopters to stop carjackings.

Helicopters need places to land and need to be stored, maintained, fueled and repaired. They are noisy, dangerous and inefficient. They require a huge, ongoing investment in personnel, not only in multi-shift pilots, but also support personnel, maintenance and repair personnel, security, landing personnel and more.

A carjacking at 1 a.m. causes entire neighborhoods to wake up and become stressed as a helicopter chases the car. Can a helicopter actually stop a carjacking? How? By landing on a vehicle?

If we want eyes in the air that register, identify and help develop a safe, effective and coordinated response to carjackings, a much cheaper, more efficient and much more effective solution already exists.

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Current LTA (lighter than air) technology is used in many locations for security and coordinated responses to conflict and/or crime. A modern hot air balloon requires no pilot, little or no fuel, makes no noise, and can hold multiple cameras that can independently track carjackers and criminals.

If a helicopter has a technical problem, people can die – not just the passengers, but also the innocents on the ground. When a balloon has a problem, it drops gently to the ground

Why waste many millions in taxpayers’ money when we can be safer at a fraction of the cost? When the base cost of a helicopter runs from $2 million to $10 million a pop, it makes much more sense to include training, pilot, personnel, etc.

Robert A. Kezelis, Palos Heights

Why no one wants to be an election judge?

Yesterday was Election Day. Months ago I decided to become an election judge. I’ve done all the training and read the book.

I was very nervous because I wanted to do a great job. I arrived at my precinct at 4:30 am. I was the only one in my district. I was told I would have three more people, and “Don’t worry, they’ve all done this before.”

I had to move tables and set everything up myself. Fortunately, there were workers from three other districts in the school to help me. But everyone was very busy. I called and complained and I almost walked out. I stayed all day.

At 7 pm the real nightmare started. Closing was terrible. Fortunately, some very nice people helped me. But some people just closed their quarters and left. I wanted to cry and just leave. This is why no one volunteers to be an election judge.

Diane Blaszczyk, Norwood Park