A memo sent out Thursday by Police Chief Chris Moore to the mayor and city council said the San José Police Department will be grounding its helicopter in March.

Budget numbers for the next fiscal year indicated the Air Support Program would be on the chopping block come July, and Moore seems to have taken a proactive approach by suspending use of the helicopter, known as “Air 2,” as of Mar. 20.

Currently, the memo said, police share the helicopter with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office throughout the week. The SJPD operates the helicopter three times a day for a total of roughly six hours each day.

By instituting the change in use early, Moore said the SJPD will be better able to evaluate the effects tactically and financially. Moore added that the city would still have limited helicopter aid from the sheriff’s office and California Highway Patrol.

Moore’s memo also said further policy changes to become more efficient will be announced this week.

Memo Regarding San Jose Police Helicopter Being Suspended in March.