A Miami PD EC120 patrols over that city. Photo courtesy of American Eurocopter.

A Miami PD EC120 patrols over that city. Photo courtesy of American Eurocopter.

The San Antonio Police Department has purchased two of American Eurocopter's EC120 single-engine light helicopters for basic patrol missions. The new airships will be delivered in early 2014.

With the purchase, the agency continues upgrading its helicopter fleet. San Antonio PD airborne officers assigned to the Blue Eagle Helicopter Unit now operate a Eurocopter AS350B3 for search and rescue, firefighting, and other special missions.

"We were looking for a quality product that will support our missions to serve and protect the city's residents," said Sgt. David Torres. "We have good experience with the AS350B3 we have had since 2007. American Eurocopter has supported us very well."

The EC120, a five-seat helicopter, has a cruising speed of 138 mph with a range of 440 miles. It can be equipped with FLIR cameras, spotlights, the Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD), and Fenestron anti-torque system.

Fenestron tail-rotor system provides for quiet operation to minimize noise complaints in municipal jurisdictions.

The EC120 is now in service with the Austin Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, Fresno Police Department, Miami Police Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and several Canadian law enforcement agencies.

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