Metro Police add new $9.6 million helicopter - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro Police add new $9.6 million helicopter

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a new addition taking the force to new heights: a brand new helicopter. (FOX5) The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a new addition taking the force to new heights: a brand new helicopter. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a new addition taking the force to new heights: a brand new helicopter. It's more than just a new tool for many officers.

In 2013, Metro police officer Dave Vanbuskirk was killed during a rescue mission. His initials are memorialized on the tail of the new helicopter.

“It was very important for me ... to memorialize officer Vanbuskirk on this helicopter that will be with us for the next 30 years," Chief Pilot Steve Morris said.

The new aircraft came in with a $9.6 million dollar price tag and a list of capabilities.

“This is a category eight twin engine helicopter,” Morris said. “(That) means it has a single engine flyaway capability, so at least if we lose one engine, we have another one to fly us out of the situation to a safe landing site."

Officials called the new aircraft a significant advancement to their current fleet. It flies up to about 170 miles per hour and can maneuver in tight spaces.

"Our rescue pilots like Ryan, we're asking them to go out in very tight spaces; canyons where people are stuck in very complex hiking routes."

It's a multi-mission helicopter that will be used primarily for search and rescue, he said.

"We look forward to getting everybody trained up and getting it into service ... as soon as possible."

The pilot also said a new helicopter is long overdue. 

"The helicopters being 44-45 years old," Morris said. "On these demanding missions in the harsh environment, we have to upgrade our fleet."

With the addition of the new helicopter, Metro has six aircrafts total. 

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