Updated: December 23, 2019 05:07 PM
Created: December 23, 2019 04:48 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Police Department unveiled its new helicopter Monday.
“This is a little bit of a Christmas present from our taxpayers, from our residents, from city council, from the mayor’s office to the police department, and we are very excited it's finally here,” Mayor Tim Keller said.
The department’s previous helicopter, Air One, was 18 years old.
The mayor said the camera on the helicopter was out of date and couldn’t fly on hot summer days. Flight time was also limited due to its age.
“With this new aircraft, we're going to be able to fly all day, every day,” said Nick Pearson, pilot. "Without the restrictions of the heat or the temperatures and the density altitudes, the only restrictions would obviously weather.”
Pearson said the new helicopter, which cost $5.5 million, has a state-of-the-art camera to track suspects, a GPS system and can link up to APD’s real-time crime center to communicate with officers on the ground.
“It's a huge game changer for me on the police side because I was always having to tell the K-9 officers exactly where I saw somebody hiding,” Pearson said. “When you try to describe four bushes that are right next to each other-- now they're going to be able to actually pull out an iPad or cell phone and see the picture, and I won't have to describe it"
APD is still deciding what to do with its old helicopter.
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