Winnipeg police officially unveiled their much talked about helicopter to media Monday at Canadian Forces Base 17 Wing.
The $3.5 million chopper is an EC-120 Colibri, and comes from Eurocopter Canada.
On Thursday, the police service said the aircraft was on its way from the manufacturing plant in Fort Erie, Ontario.
“This is an exciting day for the service. Modern-day policing in a city like Winnipeg requires deployment of equipment and technology that will improve the safety of the community and police personnel,” said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill.
The helicopter has been touted as a resource to reduce crime in the city, particularly in apprehending car thieves and avoiding dangerous high-speed chases between police and suspects on the ground.
The EC-120 is also used by the York Regional Police Force in Ontario, the Calgary and Edmonton police services, as well asthe RCMP in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
Mayor Sam Katz and Premier Greg Selinger were the first passengers to take a ride in the new aircraft. The two sat in the backseat during a demonstration flight.
Integration of the helicopter into the day-to-day police operations will occur immediately.
The Province of Manitoba will cover the helicopter’s $1.3 million annual operating expenses.