Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Aviation Unit Receives New Helicopter


Charlotte, N.C. – (Thursday, September 23, 2021) – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Aviation Unit has just received a new helicopter equipped with technology and features that will raise their capabilities to new heights.

So far this year, the Aviation Unit is responsible for 199 direct arrests, 221 assisted arrests, 81 vehicle recoveries and locating 38 missing people.  They are a tremendous resource that serves to increase the safety of both officers and the community.  Now, the Aviation Unit has a brand new, 2021 Bell 407 GXi Helicopter equipped with the newest technologies and features to perform their duties in a safer and more efficient manner.

An HD video camera will allow them to see and record events in far greater detail than in the past, and an HD thermal imager will supplement this camera by locating heat sources when vision is impaired such as in low-light conditions.  The helicopter is also equipped with a 40-million candlepower search light, which has an optional infrared filter that can be used by our specialized units when they need to work in the dark to bring situations to a safe conclusion.  A digital microwave video downlink can also transmit HD video and thermal imagery to our Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) and Command Center to coordinate efforts.

These and many other features were discussed during the CMPD's press conference, which can be watched on the CMPD's Facebook Page

B-roll of the new helicopter taking off can be downloaded here.  This link is intended for download use, only, and should not be shared.

The CMPD is grateful for the commitment to public safety by City of Charlotte's City Manager Marcus Jones and the City's elected leaders.  It is because of their commitment that this new helicopter was made possible.