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Austin Police Unveil New $3.75 Million Helicopter

Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

The City of Austin unveiled its newest addition to the Austin Police Department today: the Eurocopter AS350 B3e helicopter.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo characterized the chopper as a good start: He argued Austin should have three of the aircraft.

Credit Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

“If you look around, we’re a growing city,” Acevedo said. “We’re not just growing upward, we’re growing outward, and we’re growing in terms of population of and geography. It’s a great tool that’s going to help us keep the city safe.”

The $3.75 million helicopter – which the Austin City Council approved last year – is equipped to serve needs like stopping crime, fire fighting, assisting in medical emergencies and assisting in search and rescue operations

“When we have foot pursuits, we’re going to be able to get eyes up in the air right away,” said Acevedo. “That will enhance the safety of the officer, enhance the safety of the public, and ultimately enhance the safety of the suspects we’re chasing.”        

The helicopter will be housed in Terminal 3 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Credit Matthew Alvarez for KUT News