Council Recap: Sky Knight service to expand to one more city
Published on November 09, 2022
At their Tuesday, Nov. 8 evening meeting, Lakewood City Council Members approved a proposal for the City of Hawaiian Gardens to begin utilizing and paying for Sky Knight air support service.
Lakewood is very fortunate to have the Sky Knight helicopter patrol because most cities Lakewood’s size cannot afford that kind of public safety air support. With its spotlights and heat sensing imagery capabilities, Sky Knight is able to patrol areas like riverbeds and the interior of parks that Sheriff’s Deputies cannot do quickly.
Sky Knight can also identify and pursue vehicles or suspects on the ground and often can arrive on the scene of an emergency faster than Sheriff’s or Fire vehicles, providing valuable information on the situation before personnel arrive on the ground.
What makes Sky Knight especially feasible for Lakewood is having a partnership with other local cities who share the costs of the program and the flying time. The proposal with Hawaiian Gardens is for that city to start using Sky Knight service on a per-hour basis with a budget of $100,000 a year. The City of Hawaiian Gardens recently allocated funding to proceed with the proposal, but still needs to approve the final agreement.
“That added regional involvement with Sky Knight is very helpful for keeping a key part of public safety infrastructure financially viable and sustainable in the long term for Lakewood and our other Sky Knight city partner of Cerritos,” said City Manager Thaddeus McCormack. “And it’s helpful for crime fighting in general, because crime of course doesn’t necessarily respect city boundaries…and issues that come up where Sky Knight can be helpful can involve Lakewood, Cerritos and Hawaiian Gardens.”