Winnipeg police helicopter program back up for review
Police issue request for proposals to conduct independent assessment of Air1 program
Winnipeg police are going ahead with an independent review to evaluate whether Air1 is worth the money.
The Winnipeg Police Service on Monday issued a request for proposals to review their flight operations program.
"The review will undertake an objective, fair and evidence-based assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the flight operations unit," police said in a statement.
Air1 has become a ubiquitous sight in the skies over Winnipeg, and the WPS has praised its value numerous times since it first took flight in 2011. However, its original operating cost rose from $1.2 million yearly to $1.8 million in 2015, and the city recently replaced the chopper's infrared camera to the tune of $560,000.
The province of Manitoba was supposed to do an independent review in 2016, but a change in funding the following year cancelled that review, said police.
Police promised to conduct their own independent assessment to find out whether the cost of maintaining and flying Air1 is worth the price, as well as to see if it fits the city's strategic plans, they said at the time.
The RFP can be found on the city's materials management website.
With files from Bartley Kives