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MCSO has more eyes in the sky with second helicopter

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is beefing up its aircraft fleet to patrol the Valley from the sky.

MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio has added a second helicopter to their patrol. It is a Bell 407 GX equipped with state-of-the art law enforcement equipment.

“We are here to use the helicopter for search and rescue,” Arpaio said. “We also use the helicopter for law enforcement whether it is surveillance or other law enforcement situations.”

Some of the choppers’ unique features include a digital PA system, advanced terrain alert equipment as well as synthetic and night vision. Arpaio said the new aircraft is a needed and welcomed addition to MCSO.

“Sometimes it is dangers out there especially when you are going down with ropes in a lake or something like that trying to rescue somebody so all of this high tech equipment will help,” he said.

The new helicopter cost nearly $3.5 million and has already had about 75 hours of flight time. It has been used in patrol since June 1 and has also performed dozens of rescues missions saving 34 people.

Arpaio named the new chopper in honor of Deputy William Coleman who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a burglary call in Anthem on January 8, 2012.