The Wilmington Police Department budgets $245 per flight hour for all operational expenses for its SABLE helicopter. That price includes fuel, hangar, insurance, maintenance and all other costs, said Lt. George Perkins of the Wilmington Police Department.
He said the helicopter has been instrumental many times in catching criminals over the three years the city has used it.
Spokeswoman Lucy Crockett said police officers assigned to the helicopter sometimes do not keep track of each time they have successfully assisted officers who are on the ground in locating a suspect or assistance in other tasks.
In March 2008, however, the StarNews reported that the SABLE helicopter program responded to 412 calls for service and aided in 43 arrests since it started in January 2007.
Date posted: May 19, 2010
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