Loaned to the McLennan Sheriff's Dept., it was used to tow helicopter trailer
Waco - When a golf cart's electrical assembly burned up and stopped working, its owner had it repaired at a cost of $385. The rig was used by the Sheriff's Department Air Support Unit to tow the trailer that hauls the helicopter.
Naturally, the department was quick to cover the expense to the owner, a company named Air Impressions.
According to Chief Pilot Stu Royale, “the golf cart is old and worn out.”
The Sheriff's Department covered the expense without getting a purchase order.
Internal e-mailed memos obtained by The Legendary in a Texas Open Records Act request indicate that Captain Paul Wash concluded that since the expense was to be paid from “discretionary Fund 163,” the expense “shouldn't have to go through the ratification process.”
However, cooler heads prevailed and the item was placed on the County Commissioners' Court agenda, where is was deferred a couple of times.
Apparently, the discretionary fund is made up of money obtained through sales of personal property forfeited by drug offenders.
A check of the regulations governing the use of law enforcement helicopters shows that, while the chopper is often used to do things like the “ball drop” at youth golf tournaments, and to give rides to local sports figures and their children, all such doings are officially a no no.
Choppers – at least the ones owned by law enforcement agencies - are for cops.