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Old 01-16-2008, 10:29 AM
 
17 posts, read 46,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodwardGirl View Post
The police department helicopters were eliminated in 2006.
I agree if cedar rapids does have less income then other cities it's size why is that. Should we blindly take that as an answer and go on about our way? NO!!!
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:31 PM
 
196 posts, read 727,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Rhino View Post
Cedar Rapids had a ghetto bird? Strange.


Speaking of the smell of industry, I like the Tone's spices plant in Ankeny. It smells lovely.
Yeah, I asked the people I was staying with what that helicopter was doing hovering all over the place when there was obviously was no traffic jam and no event going on. They just shrugged and said it was a police helicopter that flies over town all the time. I told them it was pure insanity.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,779,478 times
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Well, whatever works, I guess. I heard the ring around downtown in Cedar Rapids is pretty bad, but I've never actually been to Cedar Rapids. I'd like an excuse to get up there sometime and maybe "Czech" (haw haw haw) out the Czech restaurant Woodwardgirl talked about a while ago or something.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 826,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSMGuy View Post
Yeah, I asked the people I was staying with what that helicopter was doing hovering all over the place when there was obviously was no traffic jam and no event going on. They just shrugged and said it was a police helicopter that flies over town all the time. I told them it was pure insanity.
Pure insanity also includes Omaha thinking they need 7 of them. Yeah, 7 for little Omaha.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
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I hear they're pretty aggressive in Omaha. This black guy I know that lives in North Omaha says that they'll sometimes shine the spotlight on you pretty much right as you walk out of your house in some neighborhoods.

I wonder how effective they are for the price? I mean, they can cover lots of ground quickly and get a good view of things but it can't be cheap to keep those things flying.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:04 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,403,057 times
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Well in 2005 Omaha had a murder rate of over 10X that of Cedar Rapids. 4.1 per 100,000 compared to .4 per 100,000 in the metro area. Des Moines is about 60% the size of Omaha, but Omaha has almost 3.5X the number of murders. What's going on in Omaha? It's strange Nebraska has more homicides than Iowa. We have 33% more people.

It's crazy for Cedar Rapids to waste money on people flying around 24 hours a day.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,779,478 times
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Omaha has some very sketchy areas though. There's parts of North O I know I wouldn't want to be caught in.

I have a friend that lives in North O and he's black. A few years ago me and a buddy of mine went to Omaha to see a band and brought him along. We went to the North O Popeye's for lunch and the dude was seriously nervous to be seen with a couple of white boys at a place like that. I thought it was kind of funny. "Damn, I've never seen white boys eat chicken like that!".
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:58 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,193,733 times
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Default Okay, about the helicopters...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
It's crazy for Cedar Rapids to waste money on people flying around 24 hours a day.
LOL! The birds weren't up 24/7. The helicopters -- I think it was three at peak -- were retired military (Vietnam-era!). In the 1980s, we corporate types used them as a recruiting tool, reassuring folks looking for a more crime-free lifestyle that Cedar Rapids had more police helicopters per capita than any other city in the nation besides Los Angeles, and, as far as I know, that was true. As the hospitals brought helicopter ambulances on line, the city and the hospitals benefitted from economy of scale -- we had a lot of pilots and mechanics in the area. One of our television stations fielded its own helicopter and pilot for several years in the late 90's, ending just shortly before the city sold its birds. One other advantage is that SOMEONE has to perform regular flyovers of the nuclear plant; that contract was given to the CR Police copter. They've had to hire independently since the CR copters are gone, and the hospitals also had to scramble to find some new resources, too. The cost of fuel was what did the program in in the end.

There was definitely not always a helicopter in the air, although with three machines, there was a certain amount of air time required for various maintenance (pilots, machines, etc) plus the heliport was so convenient to town that the helicopter could be brought up and deployed very quickly.

The few times that I needed to call on the police when I lived in town, I was very grateful to have the copters on the job. One time, I awoke to the sound of men rummaging about in my densely-wooded back yard. I called the police and you wouldn't think a helicopter could sneak up on anyone, yet I think we were all surprised when the searchlight came on and pinpointed the unauthorized visitors. The helicopter kept them in sight while foot officers moved to intercept them. They were stealing from neighborhood garden sheds and had a pretty good haul of everything from construction tools to chemicals.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 826,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Well in 2005 Omaha had a murder rate of over 10X that of Cedar Rapids. 4.1 per 100,000 compared to .4 per 100,000 in the metro area. Des Moines is about 60% the size of Omaha, but Omaha has almost 3.5X the number of murders. What's going on in Omaha? It's strange Nebraska has more homicides than Iowa. We have 33% more people.

It's crazy for Cedar Rapids to waste money on people flying around 24 hours a day.
Yeah it's mainly one area about 50sq miles or so that 90% of the homicides take palce. A second latino area has a high crime rate as well.

Without them two areas the state has extremely low crime.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:47 AM
 
25 posts, read 87,607 times
Reputation: 21
Default So...what can we do?

I can't tell you what a huge issue this is to me. My wife and I are from Iowa City. (Hastily) we bought a lot and built a house in Fairfax (just outside of Cedar Rapids) about a year and a half ago. We love our house, but dream of getting away from the city. The billowing smokestacks, industrial downtown and southside really depress me; my fault for not doing more extensive homework. I travel across the country on a weekly basis for work and while I say with sincerity that I am a proud Iowan, I can't help but feel slightly depressed when coming home to Cedar Rapids; I feel like the city is 30 years behind and moving at a snail's pace to doing something about it. I have to constantly remind myself of the good things about living in the area; there are a high number of great things (mainly our families) but the city's downtown is not one of them. Iowa city is only twenty miles away, but the atmosphere couldn't be more different!!!

Anyway, I like a number of young professionals I know are tired of bitching about the situation. Is there any way we can facilitate a productive forum on the realistic ways to help bring the city into the present? What needs to happen to make the city council realize that in order to change the situation, promote growth, deter all of our young educated youth from fleeing at their first chance, that a significant re-investment needs to be made. I'm well aware of the city's financial situation, and I know that it is simple to say "let's go spend some money", but what is the alternative forecast? Ride it out? For how long?

I have two little ones now and I want them to be proud of where they are from, not ashamed of it.
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