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IMPACT ON SAFETY


The results obtained by the Bell 407s for the National Police in Colombian cities have been surprising. They have become an effective deterrent against crime. Every time a Hawk is flying, criminals stop operating because of the fear it generates.


“We have had really surprising results and we are very happy,” Méndez confirms. “We have all the statistics from the moment the helicopter goes to the air – how many times it does preventive work, and how many times it supports land operations, checkpoints and other activities that the police on the ground usually do. A clear example of this are the illegal drag races that involved several dozens of cars and put law abiding citizens at risk. For the policemen on land they were very difficult to control, but today the illegal races are gone for good thanks to these helicopters.”


As a result of this positive impact, a gradual increase in the number of helicopters and the daily flight hours is anticipated. Romero wants the urban surveillance program to continue to expand. “We currently are flying five hours daily, and we usually attend more than seven cases per flight hour,” he says. “The goal is to fly at least 300 of the 365 days of the year.”


Whenever they see the helicopter in the air, Colombian citizens can feel safer knowing they have protective angels. That feeling goes hand in hand with the message Romero gave us at the end of our interview:


“Rest assured that the National Police is fulfilling a service with heart.”


64


Sep/Oct 2017


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