For more than 20 years, the Tucson
Police Department has been using Bell Helicopter's 206B JetRangers
to patrol their skies. More than two decades and 50,000 accident
free flight hours later, the Tucson Police Department took delivery
of their fifth 206B-3 this week, the first delivery in an order of
two helicopters for the department.
"This is a very special day for us," said Anthony Moreland,
Executive Director of North American Sales for Bell Helicopter. "We
sell many different aircraft to many different segments of the
market, but law enforcement and emergency management mission truly
demonstrate the capabilities of this aircraft."
Lieutenant Rick Middleton, Commander of the Tucson PD Air
Support Unit attributes the success of his department with Bell
helicopters to the quality of Bell products, training and
"This is our fifth 206B. The JetRanger is versatile, efficient
and very effective in suiting the needs of municipal law
enforcement," Middleton said. "It gets us in the air quickly, gives
us 60-90 minutes of flight time and can travel at a speed to get us
across the city quickly to respond to calls."
According to Middleton,
the department uses the JetRanger to respond to burglaries, armed
robberies, serious auto accidents, missing person searches as well
as providing aerial photo opportunities for investigators.
"Bell products are tried and true helicopters," said Sergeant
James Graves, Air Support Supervisor from Tucson PD. "I trust these
products because of the history we have with them. Sure you could
spend more, but dollar for
dollar, for our mission, this product is great."
"We have 50,000 flight hours of Bell action," Middleton said.
And that number is going to get even larger. "Last year we flew
1,500 hours. With these two new helicopters we are going to
increase that to 3,300 starting in December. We are anxious to get
this aircraft back to Tucson and get it in the air on Friday
looking for bad guys."
Bell Helicopter has had a tremendously successful year
selling more than 30 helicopters to more than 13 homeland security
agencies all over the country including the Las Vegas Police
Department, Puerto Rico Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire
Department, The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation just to name a few. This is a significant
increase from last year, and that's just the beginning.
"Because of the unmatched versatility of our products, they
appeal to a large spectrum of agencies," said Bill Maddox,
Executive Director of Marketing for Bell Helicopter. "Post
hurricane rescue and recovery operations, firefighting, special
operations, transport of hazardous material teams, law enforcement
patrol, drug enforcement... the list of missions our helicopters
are successfully fulfilling every day gets longer and longer."
"The Tucson PD has been flying our products since 1984 and we
are very proud of that," Maddox explained. "But we are also very
proud of the many new relationships we have developed with several
homeland security customers." Organizations within the homeland
security industry are beginning to see the tremendous value in
partnering with the Bell Helicopter team. "It's not just about
building a strong, reliable and versatile aircraft," Maddox said.
"At Bell Helicopter we focus on the entire investment to include
supportability and customer service, and Bell does that better than
anyone in the industry."