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The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a new addition to its force, a helicopter. In order to add an aviation program, the department is leaving another. Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram issued a 60-day notice, stating that his department is withdrawing from SABLE, the multi-agency law enforcement chopper. The SABLE helicopter is currently a joint law enforcement effort between Wilmington, Leland, Pender and Brunswick counties. According to the letter issued by Ingram, addressed to the heads of those agencies, Brunswick County has ‘the opportunity to acquire its own aircraft’. Sheriff Ingram declined immediate comment today saying he’s waiting for the details to be finalized. Sources said Brunswick County will have an 0H-58 helicopter, a military helicopter made by a company called Bell. The SABLE program is also made up of two military helicopters that were donated. New Hanover County is the only other agency in our area to have its own helicopter. That chopper was paid for with confiscated drug money. Each of the participating agencies in SABLE pay for a certain amount of flying hours. Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne, would not go on camera today, but said over the phone, he wasn’t sure if those shared costs would increase now that Brunswick County is leaving the SABLE program. According to Chief Jayne, the City of Wilmington spearheads the SABLE helicopter finances, and he hasn’t been notified of any changes to fees. Right now, Leland pays between six and seven thousand dollars a year for the use of SABLE.

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