SMPD Donates Police Aircraft To Museum

Monday, 19 Sep 2011, 8:59:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council approved at its general meeting on Sept. 13 a donation by the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) to the Santa Monica Museum of Flying its 1973 Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft.

According to SMPD’s report to council members, the aircraft served the department for more than 30 years and was its “capacities and condition … precludes it from future law enforcement use.”

Purchased in 1980 by the City of Santa Monica for $25,000, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk had “logged thousands of flight hours and performed hundreds of aerial operations in support of law enforcement activities,” Cpt. Carolin Larson stated.

Larson added the department currently relies upon a helicopter for its aerial law enforcement operations.

Earlier this year, SMPD made its determination that the aircraft was no longer serviceable and was best donated to the museum located at the Santa Monica Airport. It was also determined there would be no potential buyers of the aircraft.

“Once it was determined that the Cessna was no longer needed, Police department staff researched alternative means for disposing of or selling the Cessna 172,” Larson said. “Due to the Cessna’s unique configuration, age and condition, there was no broker interest and selling the aircraft was no longer viable.”

The Museum of Flying had contacted SMPD to acquire the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and display it at its facility.

Council members unanimously approved the donation as part of its consent calendar. Council member Bobby Shriver did not attend the Sept. 13 meeting at City Hall.

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