The Dallas Police Department's helicopter patrol unit is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is featured by the Dallas Morning News.
As part of the celebration, a Dallas police helicopter was moved into the Frontiers of Flight Museum for public display.
The unit's four helicopters are primarily used to assist in vehicle and foot pursuits, unit pilot James Rucker tells POLICE Magazine. Beginning this week, the unit will begin joint training with the Dallas PD's SWAT unit for coordination on tactical missions.
The helicopter units participated in 38 vehicle pursuits and 274 arrests in 2006, according to an agency report on the unit.
In 2007, the department replaced most of its aging fleet with three new helicopters at a cost of about $5.3 million. The unit now has 14 pilots, two sergeants, a lieutenant and three mechanics. The work load is usually between 500 and 600 calls per month.
The unit deploys four Bell Helicopters, including two 206B3s, a 407 and an OH-58. The OH-58, built in 1972, was purchased from the military and formerly used as a U.S. Army Ranger helicopter.