"The joint unit would be able to provide service with fewer personnel and a smaller number of helicopters," he said.
"The efficiency of the joint air-support unit would be achieved by implementing flight schedule modifications and by reducing the overall number of hours flown by the joint unit."
Implementing joint use carries with it a $1.6-million start-up cost and, with $2.7 million available in Burbank city accounts for air services, $1.164 million will be left over and returned to the city, he said.
Glendale's air services, which work out of Bob Hope Airport, comprise a six-person staff, Nicolaisen said. Six persons also work on air support for the Burbank Police Department, Dermenjian said.
Under the new system, the combined departments would staff one supervisor, two managers, four pilots, a flight instructor and two mechanics, Dermenjian said.
The two departments would share the costs of those positions, with the exception of the supervisor and flight instructor positions, which would be the responsibility of the Glendale Police Department, in order to offset the ratio of the number of calls for air support that come in — 60% from Glendale versus 40% from Burbank, he said.
The joint-use agreement provides an ideal opportunity for cooperation between the two cities, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said.
"Running and maintaining a fleet of helicopters is an expensive business and it only makes fiscal sense to cooperate in a joint venture with our neighbor Burbank," he said.
"And we are very fortunate that we do have good relations with our neighbor and they do have the facilities to share with us."
The relationship is especially crucial in light of recent moves to rely on air support for traffic enforcement in areas that tend to attract speeders, he added.
"It's really a great example of good government where we're able to cooperate with our neighbor city to provide a service that's going to benefit the residents of the entire area," Najarian said.
And pooling Glendale and Burbank's resources does not appear to compromise quality of air support sources, Burbank Vice Mayor Dave Golonski said.
"I think it makes sense to combine resources and … it appears it's not going to affect the level of service, and that's obviously something that would be very important to us," he said.
"I'm confident that the police departments' No. 1 goal was to make sure that the level of service continued. So I think that this is the opportunity for a win-win to better leverage our resources but maintain our effectiveness."