Police helicopter worth taxpayer dollars, Brian Bowman says

Bowman, along with Scott Gillingham, city councillor and chair of the police board, toured Winnipeg from the air on Friday.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and City Councillor Scott Gillingham toured Winnipeg from the air on Friday. (Brian Bowman/Twitter)

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says Winnipeggers are getting great value from the municipal and provincial funds going towards the city's police helicopter, Air-1. 

Bowman, along with Scott Gillingham, city councillor and chair of the police board, toured Winnipeg from the air on Friday night.

"We wanted to get a first hand look of the work that they do," Bowman told CBC's Information Radio Tuesday.

"I actually think that we're getting very good value," Bowman said.

"You have to look at the value that they provide to the safety of the officers on the ground and of course to Winnipeggers."

The mayor called the flight a "great experience" and an "eye opener" saying he was impressed by the level of coordination required and presented by the Winnipeg Police Service in operating the helicopter. 

The mayor clarifies that municipal funds were responsible for the capital purchase of the helicopter years ago but money from the Province pays the operations bill for the helicopter. 

Air-1 responded to 3,445 incidents in 2012. The helicopter is used to respond to crimes in progress for aerial containment and investigation, infrared searches for suspects and evidence, and tracking and surveillance of suspect vehicles during police pursuits.

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