The agency's aviation unit has taken delivery of the AS350B3e AStar helicopters the agency ordered in 2013. The units will complement area law enforcement aviation patrol. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol recently acquired an AS350B3e, and the Tulsa Police Department added an AS350B2 helicopter. Those units were placed into service in May and August respectively.
"The Oklahoma City Police Department has upgraded our ability to provide better public safety coverage for a city that spans 621 square miles with the addition of these helicopters,” Police Chief William Citty told Airbus. “The successful process of transitioning to a helicopter that allows for greater functionality, safety and reduced pilot fatigue is a testimony to Airbus Helicopters and their product."
The Oklahoma City PD also upgraded the avionics and mission equipment in existing units. The new helicopters have been equipped with a Garmin G500H electronic flight information system, FLIR Systems 8500 thermal imager, Spectrolab SX-16 searchlight and the Aerocomputers UC-5100 moving map system.
The new helicopters are well suited to tactical team insertions and arrived with cargo hooks allowing them to carry "Bambi buckets" for firefighting.