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Hawthorne crime copter back in air

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Hawthorne Police Department celebrated the return of its Air 55 helicopter Friday with a barbecue luncheon outside City Hall. The helicopter was grounded for more than two years because the city couldn’t afford the cost, which was about $250,000 a year. The road to its return has been a bumpy one. Early last summer, city officials were saying the chopper was nearly ready to resume flights, but it needed more maintenance than anticipated because it had been out of service for so long. As the South Bay’s only full-time police helicopter, it will be in the air and on-call 10 hours a day, four days a week. Hawthorne police Lt. Keith Kauffman said the helicopter does the work of 15 to 20 officers. It has a forward-looking, heat-seeking infrared light that can home in on suspects hiding in dark places. “It’s almost always the first unit on scene to a call,” he said. “It’s very helpful for crimes in progress – robberies, burglaries, assaults, police pursuits.”last_img

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