Cedar Rapids, Iowa is auctioning off the assets of its police department’s aviation unit.
The city council in January advanced a budget that eliminated funding for the unit, which was launched 35 years ago with a Hiller and is the only police helicopter unit in Iowa. Its five pilots fly two OH-58Cs; in 2005, they were reported to have flown nearly 1,700 hr and assisted in 271 arrests.
City leaders late last year solicited interest from county governments and neighboring cities to fund the unit as a regional resource to offset its annual costs of $500,000-plus. That didn’t work. The assets were put up for auction, divided in 23 lots, and listed at the city’s Purchasing Dept. Web site (www.cedar-rapids.org/purchasing/). They included two OH-58Cs, three OH-58As and -58A parts (including main-rotor blades), a Rolls-Royce 250-C20B and T63-A-720, C250 parts, a FLIR and a Wescam thermal imager, Avalex monitors and a DVD recorder and a Clark aircraft tug. Bidding opened May 1.