The Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff's Office, home to the city of Chicago, will acquire a helicopter to help with its operations.
The aircraft will assist with tracking suspected carjackers, missing persons searches, and mutual aid during large-scale emergencies, according to NBC 5 Chicago. The Cook County Board approved $11.4 million in next year's budget to asist with the purchase. The money was carried over from funds that weren’t spent in the 2022 budget. The sheriff’s office also obtained a $2.5 million federal grant toward acquiring a helicopter and related equipment. The sheriff's office hasn't decided whether the aircraft will be purchased or leased.
The Chicago Police Department owns two Bell helicopters -- one from 1994 and the other from 2006 -- which it shares with the sheriff's office. Both helicopters are often grounded for maintenance issues, and don't have the necessary equipment to navigate poor weather.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he hopes to have the new aircraft as soon as next summer.
The Chicago Police Department is also preparing to buy new aircraft: two helicopters.