Combined TPD, Shawnee Co. Chopper Unit Explored

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

A possible partnership could get the Topeka Oolice helicopter unit back in the air and expand its reach.

Police Chief Ron Miller briefed Topeka City Council members Tuesday night on a proposal for a combined Shawnee County Law Enforcement Aviation Unit.

It would be a joint operation of TPD and the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office. Miller says both agencies would provide financial support and be involved in policy decisions. He says the current TPD helicopter personnel would staff it.

Miller says he believes a collaboration would result in a safe, efficient unit to benefit all people in Shawnee County, including those outside the Topeka city limits.

He says the plan would have one helicopter flying countywide. It would be purchased, rather than leased. Miller also would pursue having the unit accredited through a national agency.

Miller says the plan is moving forward.

The proposal stems from a consultant's report done in the wake of a police helicopter crash last April. The unit has been grounded ever since.

Miller says steps are being taken to implement the consultant's other suggestions on issues like facilities, training and the the type of aircraft to use.

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