Living in Pasadena, one simply does not expect to be under siege from military-style helicopters. Night and day, they roam overhead, searchlights at maximum intensity, avidly patrolling the deadly streets of Pasadena. It would seem more reasonable to think we were all part of a big movie set. Or a video game. But, no, these helicopters are for real, used by the Pasadena police as a legitimate tool to enforce and deter crime. Yes, to deter crime. And I'm not kidding when I call it the Pasadena Air Force. The police are using actual military planes from the Vietnam War era, which they got for free from a military surplus program. Okay, they no longer have gun turrets or armor plating, but I still feel like Robert Duvall is going to pop out and napalm me. (I will give the Pasadena council points for knowing how to get free stuff.)
There are more details in "Trouble Above", a very interesting article in the Pasadena Weekly.