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Louisville Police Without Working Helicopter

The Louisville Metro Police Department is currently without an operational helicopter.Last month Mayor Jerry Abramson announced that because of the budget crunch, the city would sell its backup helicopter, which is up for bids in an online auction. Right now, it’s the city’s only operable helicopter.Brian Smith, the director of maintenance for the police’s airborne division says the primary helicopter is still in Arizona for repairs from its August 2006 crash.“It’s status as of right now, it’s still disassembled. I believe some of the parts are in acquisition and they should be going back together with it sometime in the next month or so,” he says.The helicopter that’s up for sale is out for routine maintenance. Smith says once it’s sold in early April, the city could be without a helicopter until after the Derby, when both helicopters are used heavily.Other cities of comparable size all have more than one helicopter. Smith says Lexington has two and he estimates Dayton and St. Louis have upwards of four.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.