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Police Helicopters......rolls-royce Or Chevy?


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Winnipeg police are looking at a Helicopter….3 million to buy and 1 million per year to run. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/c...s-78300752.html


As city police in Canada look to add helicopters to their departments I get the feeling they are picking a “Rolls-Royce” when a “Chevy” might do the job. Might a R44, used Bell 206, or used MD500 do the job? Or does the tax payer have to pony up and buy a brand new turbine? <_<


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That's a good question, and one that we all ask ourselves when we see some form of 'government/military' contract be let for a huge amount.

However, we probably all want to see our Police and Military crews in the finest equipment available.


What concerns me is the price of new 'goverment' ships as opposed to private-sector aircraft.


Do you remember the original EH101 contract that was canceled? The price-per-ship was staggering when compared to the civilian 'Heli-liner' that was being offered, or even to the later purchase of the SAR Cormorants.

That must have been a fancy avionics package they cut out !!!

And I don't believe the story that extra cost was all related to "later maintenance expenses providing jobs to Canadians".


The annual maintenance costs you mention also seem very high.

Was the private sector given a chance to tender competing bids to do this work for the Police??


This is a subject that has been debated for a while......with some ironic twists.

Do you remember when Alberta had their own 206s and 222?

Then they became too expensive to run.....and now their work is all done by private sector contractors....and we all complain when some companies bid too low !!!!


In the US, the Police and Sheriffs Departments can buy a used military ship for $1, and then pay for all their own maintenance costs after that.

Maybe Winnipeg could buy one of our old Sea-Kings.......(or is $1 too much ????)

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As a taxpayer if they are flying over my house at 2am, I'd rather it be in either an ec-120, md520 or md902.



AND SLEEP THROUGH ALL THE ACTION? Crazy! I remember at the crack-shack crewhouse Canadian had in Edmonton, we'd hear pimps and others screaming 'where's my money' at night.


One morning, our awesome engineer awoke to look out the window and there was Mr Springs chopper hovering over the alley with a swat team closing in.


Annual cost for EC-120 in Edmonton is approx 960 thou per year, including the 4 pilot officers.




Bad boys, Bad boys, whatchou gonna do, whatchou gonna do when dey come for you...



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I had a very small part in the first metropolitan police helicopter in Canada, HAWC 1 in Calgary. I was the mktg Mgr for the Calgary company that sold and installed the avionics package.

It was an interesting time as the City was involved with chosing the helicopter and the equipment plus writing the PO and paying the bills. It was not a cadillac installation but it was a pretty d**mn good one as it lasted for 13,000 hrs with few snags. I can't see buying a used machine and putting these hours on it unless it was 100% rebuild and then would likely be close to the cost of a new machine.

The helicopter is used for much more than just flying an observer around the city and the ability to put a couple K9 or street officers in the back is definately a plus.


Now the better part from the perspective of a Calgary tax-payer. Even though it was a City contract, the money came form a memorial fund that was started by the sister of a slain police officer and a Calgary Police Sargent. The foundation presented the City with a fully equipped helicopter for zero cost and then the operating costs were born by the Police Service. At the time I was told that the helicopter could do the job of 12 cars. The stats speak for themselves as I am sure do Edmonton's and the other ones across Canada and the US.


The replacement EC120s in Calgary were also partially funded by donations, I don't know the % but obviously the Police Commision decided 2 machines were better than 1 for a city of 1 million.


Perhaps Winnipeg is going to fund theirs the same way.


Maybe sometime in the future Toronto will even consider one B)

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