Boston’s Police Patrols Gaining Bird’s-Eye View
Boston police will start using a helicopter regularly to support police on patrol. The program, which will begin this April, will have a helicopter with state troopers fly several evenings a week, working side by side with police officers on the ground.
Boston police are already working on a campaign to notify citizens about the helicopter patrols so they do not become concerned about the presence of the helicopter and will hopefully be understanding about the noise.
Police officials cited studies in other cities that indicated there was a 30 percent drop in street crime in areas regularly monitored from aircraft. The helicopters will be tuned to the Boston police radio frequency to allow them to respond to crime, including the city’s new acoustic gunshot detection technology.
The State Police helicopters that will be used for the patrols are equipped with night vision technology and video downlink capabilities, and will be used for surveillance, pursuits, and scene illumination.
The duration of the program was not specified, but Detective Lieutenant William Powers with the State Police said he expects it to continue through the summer.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Boston Globe (03/23/07); McGrory, Brian.