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Columbus City Council to approve $900,000 for police helicopter maintenance

Columbus Police Helicopter
A Columbus Police helicopter.

Columbus City Council will approve a $900,000 maintenance contract for its police helicopter fleet Monday as it prepares to sell one of its aircraft.

The city contracts with Helicopter Minit-Men, Inc. to handle upkeep for its five-helicopter fleet. Commander of the special services bureau Robert Sagle said many of those repairs are time-sensitive.

“They keep our helicopters in incredible shape so our pilots can fly safely," Sagle said. "Obviously it makes the citizens below us safe as well.”

The aviation unit is also trimming its fleet to four helicopters pending the sale of one of its aircraft to reduce flight time.

“We used to fly a 16-hour flight day consistently," Sagle said. "We’ve redefined it to try to lessen any kind of negative impacts on the community.”

The aviation unit flies in two-hour increments within a 12-hour window with crews ready to assist from 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. City council will vote to approve the maintenance budget Monday night.

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.