ATLANTA — Atlanta City Council has approved a $10 million purchase of two new helicopters for the police department.
Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston learned the choppers should be in the air in January.
Huddleston first reported that Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens wanted to buy two helicopters when he flew with him in one of them last month. Dickens wanted to see how the officers keep people safe while they patrol the city.
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In November, Channel 2 Action News was with Dickens as he learned how the police department’s aviation unit swarmed on breaking news to catch the bad guys.
After getting back on the ground, Dickens said he wanted “to add our ability to pursue and also bring safety to the city.”
Atlanta Councilman Dustin Hillis, chairman of the public safety committee, says council approved the multi-million dollar purchase for the new helicopters and refurbishing a third.
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“We found two helicopters, the order was canceled on them, so we were able to come in and swoop those away from the manufacture. Our current aviation unit, our helicopters in that unit are 50-plus years old which, it’s not just an operational issue it’s really a safety concern for me and others,” Hillis explained.
The new choppers should be up and running at the start of the new year.
Hillis says they were also able to swoop in and buy 100 new police cars that were just sitting on a lot after another city canceled its order.
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