Cook County Board Votes to Approve Commissioner Aguilar’s Proposal for a Helicopter
The purchase of the Helicopter will help the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to improve public safety and to fight crime
On Thursday, November 17th, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted overwhelmingly to approve Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar’s proposal to lease a helicopter to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
While Cook County is among the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, its helicopter fleet lags far behind other large urban areas.
The Los Angeles metropolitan area has 35 police helicopters, and the New York City Police Department has recently purchased two additional helicopters, increasing their fleet to nine.
“This is an incredibly important investment by the county,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.
“I appreciate the County Board realizing how important of an asset this is to the Sheriff’s Office and am grateful they allocated the financial resources necessary to help protect the safety and security of Cook County residents.”
The budget amendment approved reserves of $11.4 million dollars in the FY2023 budget for the procurement of a helicopter and related equipment. The reserve is being carried forward from funds that were underutilized in the current fiscal year.
“The addition of a helicopter to the Sheriff’s office will be invaluable,” said Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar. “This initiative improves public safety and emergency preparedness by leaps and bounds. Helicopters will allow for officers to track carjackers and kidnappers without the need for high-risk chases in residential or commercial areas. It will also allow for first responders to navigate traffic, train schedules, closed roads, and more to ensure that emergency workers can get to where they need to be as quickly as possible in order to save lives and livelihoods. I want to thank my colleagues on the Board for their support, and look forward to seeing this measure’s impact on our communities public safety.”
“Commissioner Aguilar was instrumental in securing the necessary funding for this helicopter. He and his colleagues helped establish broad consensus on the County Board around the critical need for this important public safety tool, which ultimately led to the approval of the budget amendment,” said Sheriff Dart.”