Police Colibri a hangar queen?

 - October 8, 2007, 10:41 AM

The police helicopter in Edmonton, Alberta, spends 75 percent of its time on the ground, according to a criminologist, and the city council should decide what role it wants it to play. “If it’s on the tarmac, it’s of absolutely no use,” said Bill Pitt, a professor at the University of Alberta.

Even though the helicopter is expensive to fly, Pitt said, the city needs to decide how it wants to use the crime-fighting tool–or stop using it altogether.

Robert Noce, a candidate for mayor, says Edmonton citizens showed their support by raising money to bring the helicopter, an EC 120 known as Air-1, to the city. But he said the city needs to adjust its policing for the ways crime is changing. “We have the same number of officers we had in 1992, but the world has changed dramatically,” he said.

If elected mayor, Noce promises to hire 100 more officers and to debate the future of Air-1 with the city council.