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Tue, Oct 18, 2005

Bell Helicopter Delivers Fifth JetRanger to Tucson PD

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 support.

"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."

FMI: www.bellhelicopter.textron.com

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