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November 2, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Security

Have your say on Winnipeg's police helicopter

The Winnipeg Police Service wants to know what you think of the helicopter and is conducting a survey to find out.

The survey kicks off Wednesday.

Residents will be called at random, in all areas within the City of Winnipeg. The survey is expected to take less that 15 minutes to finish, a news release says.

There is also a survey online, which closes on Nov. 21.

The police force issued a request for proposals to review their flight operations program in March. On July 12, MNP was awarded a contract to complete it.

Air1, the name of the police chopper, has become a common sight in the skies over the city, and the WPS has praised its value numerous times since it first took flight in 2011. However, its original operating cost rose from $1.2 million yearly to $1.8 million in 2015, and the city recently replaced the chopper's infrared camera to the tune of $560,000.

The province was set to launch an independent review in 2016, but a change in funding the following year cancelled that review, said police.

The police service had promised to conduct its own independent assessment to find out whether the cost of maintaining and flying Air1 is worth the price, as well as to see whether it fits the city's strategic plans.

With files from Bartley Kives

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