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PSP Acquires New Helicopters

Money forfeited by drug dealers partially funded the new aircraft.
 (Matt Hankins, wCommonwealth Media Services 2012)
(Matt Hankins, wCommonwealth Media Services 2012)
July 22, 2014-
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State Police today took delivery of the first two of six Bell 407GX helicopters. The new helicopters will be used for airborne law enforcement patrol and operations to enhance service to the citizens of the commonwealth.

“We operate six aviation patrol units across the state and provide aerial support to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within the state,” said Noonan. “It is very important that we have modern, reliable and mission-ready helicopters to patrol and serve the citizens of the commonwealth,” said Noonan.

Several new components on each aircraft will enable the Pennsylvania State Police to more rapidly and effectively pinpoint exact ground locations from the air. The new helicopters are also able to provide interoperable radio communications with ground-based first responders, which operate on several radio frequencies.

The new capabilities provide real time situational awareness to incident commanders and first responders during times of critical incidents or disasters. These systems will aid in public information and warning, operational coordination, intelligence and information sharing, criminal activity disruption, screening and search and detection.

“Pennsylvania State Police air crews are charged with protecting public safety, and it is important that they can safely and reliably respond to areas across the state to provide timely and accurate airborne assistance,” Noonan said. “These helicopters not only benefit the state police, but a significant number of missions are in support of federal, state and local law enforcement.”

Since 1969, the Pennsylvania State Police has had an airborne law enforcement team.

Funding for all six helicopters was largely provided by PSP waivered reserves and federal forfeiture monies.
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