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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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10 Comments on "Brunswick County to have helicopter of their own"

2015 years 10 months ago

Well Watcher let one of those petty drug dealers break into your house while you are at work and let see how petty they really are. The helicopter was donated (FREE). All the Brunswick County Sheriff has to do is pay for the gas and upkeep, which they do with money they confiscated from those petty drug dealers. It doesn’t cost you a single cent. Maybe you are afraid they might see you doing something wrong.

Shallotte Watcher
2015 years 10 months ago

Brunswick County needs a chopper of its own? Really? In this economy?

Come on folks – wake up and smell the reality that your taxpayers are facing. Pull out of SABLE – but save that money.

Hundreds of dollars an hour to fly around and chase petty drug dealers or ogle the women lying on the beaches isn’t what our tax dollars should be spent on!

2015 years 10 months ago

Why not have their own crime lab then so the jail isnt so crowded with arrestees waiting on results on the drugs seized. Have DNA results come back almost instantly instead of waiting 7 months.

It’s because of the cost, the burden on the taxpayer. Just wait until that “free” helicopter falls from the sky and kills someone, we shall see how free that bird really is.

SABLE was free to ILM, offered at cost to other agencies. Sid rejected it, took money from the schools to buy his own. Ingram will do the same thing.

2015 years 10 months ago

It seems as if maybe the SABLE program with the Wilmington police dept wasn’t serving the needs of Brunswick county. Otherwise, why go buy your own helicopter? Maybe the New Hanover County Sheriffs dept realized that sharing a chopper with so many agencies just waters down the effectiveness of the helicopter program.
When Brunswick county or New Hanover county needs a helicopter, it doesn’t want to have to prioritize between so many agencies. It makes sense.

dill spinknod
2015 years 10 months ago

Brunswick county doesn’t have hardly 10 percent of the crime that new hanover county does….needed a helicopter of their own is just a way to waste money..look at the stats and you will see

2015 years 10 months ago

I hope Sheriff Ingram lays out a very clear picture of how this program will be financed. A helicopter program is VERY expensive, fuel, pilot, maintenance, etc. etc. I would not think right now is the time to take on a project of this magnitude when their are other priorities that need addressing. Deputy response time is still and issue as well as certain equipment needs. Lets watch this budget very closely. Sheriff Ingram made it a point to brag about how he reduced this years budget from what former Sheriff Hewett had requested, lets see if it stays that way. I would like to say this, I like the idea of our county having a chopper, but the time is not right. We should continue in the current partership.

2015 years 10 months ago

Took money from the schools??? If you are going to lie about it, at least make your lie believable. Where are your facts, links, etc that shows NHC’s helo came from the schools?

2015 years 10 months ago

Look for all of you that are against the chopper you are not aware what happens out here!! i do not work with the sheriffs office but do work with another agency in Brunswick county. One person complained about response time. You do know how big this county is right!!! a helo will help us out a lot and save lives, such a chases the helo can stay with the vehicle while officers back off and let the chopper be our eyes slowing down our high speed chases not saying that the road officers will back off just want be as close chasing the vehicle. So as an officer i do think it will help the county but that is my opinion just like everyone else has one.

2015 years 10 months ago

Wow, drug dealers do not break into houses unless its some gang related violence. If someone is growing enough marijuana to be spotted by a helicopter, I doubt they are breaking into houses to feed their habit.

2015 years 10 months ago

Ok, so let me get this straight. No tax money was spent on the purchase of this helicopter. The helicopter was “free”? Sheriff Ingram said that they able to aquire the helicopter because of a grant that they had applied for. Government grant money comes from where? The Grant Fairy? No, grant money comes from taxpayers. So no tax money was used to purchase the helicopter? Really? Now how do they plan on funding the heli now that they have it? Maybe with siezed drug money? Well, if the Crime Report in the paper is a reflection of the siezed money that will support this program, they won’t have enough fuel to get it off the ground. Voluntarily Dismissed, for those who don’t know, is when a case is terminated by request of the plaintiff. The plantiff in drug cases being the State/Sheriffs Dept. Doesn’t sound like a free helicopter to me. I am not against the sheriffs dept. having a helicopter or any equipment that help them do their job and keep us all safe. I just wish that our elected officials were a little more honest. I guess thats to much to ask for these days.


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