Police Investigating Emergency Doughnut Run

Friday, October 5, 2001

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Albuquerque police have taken doughnut runs to new heights, swooping down in a police helicopter for a late-night snack.

"I don't know how they decided that was a good idea," the department's spokesman, Lt. Bob Huntsman, said in a copyright story in Friday's Albuquerque Journal.

The Albuquerque Police Department has two helicopters for routine night patrols, and Huntsman said it costs about $80 an hour to keep one of the Kiowa copters flying. The pilot "who is not a police officer" is under contract to the department.

"We're going to look into it," Huntsman said. "If they violated policy or procedure, they're going to get disciplined for it. We've worked too hard to make this a professional unit to let lack of common sense tear us down."

Rio Rancho resident Keith Turner, who works near a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on Albuquerque's west side, said he was taking a break with other people between 12:30 and 1 a.m., Thursday, when a police helicopter swooped down, circled and landed in a nearby dirt field.

"I was like, 'No, they'd better not go and get doughnuts," Turner said.

One of those aboard got out and went inside while the helicopter idled, he said. The passenger returned to the helicopter 10 to15 minutes later carrying a box of Krispy Kremes, he said.

"I was angry, and I'm still kind of angry," Turner said. "You've got no business flying in to get doughnuts."

The chopper gave what Turner presumed was a goodbye toot on its police siren as it took off, he said.

Huntsman confirmed the incident, but said he had not had a chance to speak to those aboard. He said it appeared the duo were near the end of their shift and probably were flying back to the hangar on the west side.

"As far as we know, they did bring doughnuts back," he said.

 

Gerald Salazar

[ As Read on Car Talk ]