AUSTIN (KXAN) - The City Council on Thursday gave the go-ahead for the Austin Police Department to purchase a new helicopter to boost its presence in the air.
The department took took to its Twitter account to thank the council for its 6-0 vote.
The department had asked the Council to allocate money for the purchase of a B3 helicopter. The department expects it to take up to a year and a half for the new helicopter to arrive.
In addition to assisting with the department's law enforcement operations, the new helicopter would also be outfitted with equipment to assist with battling wildfires.
It can hold more than 3,000 pounds of equipment and carry as many as seven people.
Police Chief Art Acevedo has been pushing for a new chopper at least since 2010 when even its backup aircraft was out of service.
"There is no excuse in this city to be blind in the sky," Acevedo in October of that year when the department was forced to rely on a medical helicopter to help in the search for a suspect during a shooting.
"We have three incidents in less than a week where that helicopter would have been a critical piece of equipment," Acevedo added at the time.
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