The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office has a new addition to its fleet. Its new chopper, Sheriff Air 1, was unveiled today. Law enforcement choppers are not new to the area. Wilmington police have Sable One and Two, but the county declined to take part in that program. Sheriff Sid Causey says he declined participation in Sable more than two years ago because of funding, and because he didn't see the need for a helicopter. But after using a borrowed one, he says the benefits became clear. Those benefits included a quicker response time and an aerial vantage point. New chopper features include heat seeking radar and night vision. The nearly $700,000 helicopter was paid for by seized drug money and a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. While the county has its new chopper instead of being a part of Sable, county and city law enforcement officers say its not a result of a problem between the two agencies, but rather another tool to help each other fight crime. "It's certainly not why we spend $680,000 to make anybody mad," Causey said. "Everything in this office is available to anyone in this county that needs it." "We always co-operate with each other when the other needs help," Deputy Wilmington Police Chief David Conklin said. "We never let anything effect us operationally." Sable included the Leland police and Brunswick and Pender County Sheriff's Offices. It, too, was paid for by seized drug money. Both Conklin and Causey agree this is one of the best uses of drug dealers' assets. To fight crime with criminal's money. Sheriff Air 1 will only be used for special missions and has yet to take its inaugural flight. Causey says it will be housed in a secure location.
- Video Central
- About WWAY