GPD helicopter relaunches after engine repair
Missy Perez / WUFT News
Officers gathered for a ceremonial takeoff Tuesday to make sure the helicopter was running smoothly and fit for flight.
Gainesville Police Department launched its helicopter back in the air Tuesday after a 15-month hiatus.
Helicopter N911GV underwent repairs in a factory center in Arizona after an in-flight engine failure in December 2011.
While it awaited the helicopter’s repair, GPD used helicopters from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, with which it has a joint aviation unit. Officer Ben Tobias, GPD spokesman, said having the helicopter back allows the department to not have to rely on the Sheriff’s Office for their aircraft.
“For us, it’s a morale boost,” Tobias said. “Even though it’s a joint aviation unit … the different helicopters still have different agency markings on it. So to have ours back, where it says Gainesville Police Department on it, it’s a great thing for the pilot out here. It’s a great thing for all the GP personnel to be able to use the helicopter.”
People do not need to worry about the helicopters being used as surveillance,” Tobias said, because their technology cannot see farther than the human eye. They will be used only for chases and fighting crime.
Laura Foreman wrote this story online.
More Stories in Local
Shane Hartley and Troy Butler choose to ride their bikes to work because they know the health and environmental benefits of biking. In order to unite people like them, the Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation want to start a bike-sharing program.
The 2015 Fanfares and Fireworks celebration, hosted by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, drew more than 10,000 to the campus July 3.
Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may face obstacles during the holiday weekend. Military With PTSD, a nonprofit organization, has started a campaign to help educate people about the effects of fireworks on people with PTSD.
Protesters seeking to remove the downtown statue of the Confederate soldier spoke to city officials for the first time since the campaign began in late June. This is the first of several efforts that will go on over the next two weeks among protesters who call for the County Commission to take down the statue.
Grace Marketplace has served the local homeless community for one year. The community is part of a 10-year plan, conceived in 2005, to end homelessness.