Albuquerque New Mexico police department's Airbus Helicopters EC120. Photo courtesy of the Albuquerque Police Department
Albuquerque, New Mexico's police department will be getting a new helicopter after the town's city council approved the funding for it Monday, according to Mayor Tim Keller.
The new $5.2 million helicopter will replace the department's 17-year-old Airbus Helicopters EC120, which is unable to fly on hot days, according to a department news release dated Sept. 5.
“Attacking crime from all sides requires modern tactics and modern technology that put our officers in the best position to arrest criminals,” Mayor Keller said, according to the release. “Our city can’t afford to have a chopper that can’t fly during the heat of summer. We need these eyes in the sky to give officers the edge to keep our communities safe.”
The department's helicopter has responded to 44 calls been used to respond to 109 total calls in the region and participated in 35 felony arrests, 12 felony assists, 27 stolen-vehicle recoveries and $326,500 in property recovery this year, according to the department's website.
The department plans to acquire the new aircraft, possibly an Airbus H125, within the next six to eight months, according to local media reports.