Police whirly-bird makes impact

One month old WPS helicopter lights up North End scenes

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This article was published 02/03/2011 (4229 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg’s new police helicopter appears to have already had an impact on policing in the North End.

Insp. Brian Cyncora said the Winnipeg Police Service’s Air 1 EC 120B Colibri helicopter has made a significant difference in how police respond to crime in the north Winnipeg neighbourhood.

Cyncora said the helicopter,which has been patrolling city skies for about a month, was especially helpful in lighting up several crime scenes in the North End.

“We have had a real success in that regard,” he said, adding the helicopter is usually operational on evenings and weekends.

Faraday neighbourhood resident Sheryl Shatkosky, who is involved in starting a Citizens on Patrol group in the area, said the helicopter’s presence in the North End is noticed.

“I do get a sense of safety when I hear it. If the only thing this extra is a little bit of noise, that’s great,” she said.

Last week, officers aboard the helicopter were able to track down a suspected drunk driver who had been spotted behind the wheel of a City of Winnipeg truck in the city’s southwest.

The city purchased the helicopter in 2009 for $3.5 million and receives $1.3 million in funding from the provincial government each year to fund its operating costs.

Cyncora added that the helicopter wasn’t the only new addition to the WPS that has had an impact in the North End.

“Our new (police) cadets have been able to hold some of our scenes and this frees up our officers for other on-duty activities,” he said.

rob.brown@canstarnews.com

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