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Law enforcement agencies join Sable helicopter program

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WILMINGTON -- As crime numbers go up, so do local law enforcement agencies in their fight against crime. More area departments are joining Chief Ralph Evangelous and the Wilmington Police Department in patrolling from the sky. Chief Evangelous said, "Our announcement today builds on that vision we had when we brought that federal and military helicopter here to work with law enforcement." Brunswick County joins the Pender County Sheriff's Office and Leland Police Department in Chief Evangelous's Sable helicopter program. Chief Evangelous said, "Why not? Brunswick County, they border us, we work together all the time, it made sense. It's a great resource for them." Rep. Mike McIntyre said, "The partners who requested the helicopter initiated with the chief of police, Chief Evangelous, then his efforts were to bring in as many law enforcement agencies as possible." But one agency isn't included in the program. Chief Evangelous said he didn't know of any plans for New Hanover County to join. Sheriff Sid Causey declined an on-camera interview, but said he chose not to become part of the Sable helicopter program because of money issues, but calls the program a "good idea." The federal government provided more than $250,000 this year for Sable -- one of the largest federal grants in our state. The choppers have already helped nab robbery suspects and a sex offender on the run from the Leland Police Department.

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