The Baltimore Police Department could be the first major urban department to eliminate its helicopter unit in budget cuts proposed by City Hall that could also lead to the elimination of hundreds of officers from the force, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The department deploys four helicopters at a cost of $2 million a year. Another $2.1 million covers the 27 pilots and officers who man the units during patrols in the city.
In 2009, the unit called Foxtrot assisted in more than 400 arrests.
Airborne units have been disbanded by departments in Tulsa, Okla., Oakland, San Bernardino (Calif.) and Colorado Springs.