COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is taking to the air with two new helicopters.
Sheriff Jody Greene says the value of each chopper is a million dollars; however, the county got them for free.
They were awarded by a grant through the North Carolina Enforcement Support Services.
Sheriff Greene says they’ve got two civilian pilots on contract, so they can fly day or night.
He wants to be sure they are ready to take on any task.
“This is a necessary to manhunts,” Sheriff Greene said. “This is necessary to looking for missing people, a necessary to drug interdiction. It tremendously aids in that. It’s just the wow factor. When you go in these areas and there’s a helicopter. It brings the thunder.”
Greene says the choppers are ready to be flown, but they’re still upgrading and retrofitting.
“We need a updated radio system in it. A FLIR system, and a floodlight system.”
Greene says they’ve not had to use the choppers yet, but they do fly them 12 hours per month as part of their requirement.
“I took oath that, to protect the citizens in this county and that’s what I intend to do. This is one of the tools needed to do that,” Greene stated.