Columbia Police Department gets a helicopter
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott launched the Columbia Police Department’s first air support: “Columbia Air–1” radio controlled (RC) helicopter during a demonstration of a barricaded suspect.
Chief Scott stated that this new tool will aid Columbia Police in conducting aerial surveillance for multiple uses such as traffic collision investigations, monitoring City parks for criminal activity, and incidents involving a barricaded suspect. Chief Scott added that “Columbia Air–1’s” total cost (helicopter and camera system) of $4,000 was paid for through seizure funds.
“Columbia Air-1” is a Century G3 Carbon RC helicopter that has a flight time of 30–40 minutes and uses a fuel/oil mixture. It is mounted with a GoPro digital video camera that provides a 360 degree view. Master Police Officer (MPO) Joshua Bice, a five year veteran of CPD has been flying RC helicopters for eight years. MPO Bice’s interest in RC helicopters peaked as he assisted in the launch and recovery of unmanned fixed wing vehicles during his last deployment in Iraq while serving in the United States Marine Corps.
MPO Bice stated, “ This is a great opportunity for me to take what I’m learning as a hobby and bring it to the communities of Columbia and the Columbia Police Department”.
Chief Scott continued to state that “Columbia Air-1” will provide Columbia Police and the communities it serves with a cost efficient innovative aerial surveillance tool.