I've lived here since 2007, and I continue to be appalled by the number of helicopters that pass over my home on a daily basis. Compared to other parts of L.A., pasadena easily has 10 times the helicopter traffic. The reason? In the not too distant past, the Pasadena Police Department acquired a large number of helicopters at a discounted price, and after doing so made the policy decision to use them as a first response unit.
You see, police helicopters are almost always used as a backup unit. Officers on the ground respond to a call, and after responding decide if an aerial backup is needed. Not so in pasadena. Because the pasadena police department has an excessively large number of police helicopters relative to the size of the city, when a call comes in for a routine, non-violent crime, the pasadena police department dispatches a helicopter as their first response unit.
So when grandma accidentally sets off the burglar alarm to her house.....here comes a police helicopter. Or when your neighbor joe reports suspicious activity by some high school kids....here comes another police helicopter. Which works out great if all you care about is having the quickest and easiest police response money can buy. However, if your criteria includes quality of life, livability, and/or peace and quiet, it doesn't work out so great.
In fact, it ends up being pretty lousy, negating much of the positive that pasadena has to offer. I've decided to blog about helicopter noise in pasadena with the hope that the other residents voice their opinion on this issue. I think the issue has legs, so to speak....but we'll see. If you feel pasadena has an excessive amount of police helicopter activity, let me and your elected city council person know how you feel.