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
After moving to its new location next to Satchel’s Pizza, The Repurpose Project has more than quadrupled in size and substance. The owners plan to expand with the additional space, adding a garden, play area for kids and an event area.
A wildlife preserve in Dixie County used for hunting is for sale. The current owner said he will not require the buyer to continue in the hunting business.
Horses act as therapy animals for people with disabilities, special needs children and veterans with PTSD in a local program called HOPE. With recent expansions, HOPE now has funding to create an employment model to help veterans in their program to find a job.
Finding a way around Gainesville can be difficult with limited buses and dangerous bike lanes, but City Commission candidates offer similar solutions to improve transportation issues. Yet a public forum revealed they do not agree on how to pay for the changes.
The number of sustainable and alternative homes is increasing in Florida. Gainesville resident Tom Fox leads the way with one of the first shipping container homes in Florida.