Military Helicopters

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Anytime there's a child missing or a prisoner on the loose, a rescue helicopter often flies 45 minutes from Gurnee to help in the search. But if Winnebago County Board Members get their way, a military helicopter would turn into a police asset, and take off from the Rockford Airport.

County Board Members are trying to decide whether they'll donate a-hundred thousand dollars to the Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition. This is a group of volunteer pilots that help out all the way from Winnebago to Lake County. As of now, there's just one helicopter, but soon there will be three, thanks to a donation made by the federal government. A donation some say will directly help us here in Rockford.

"A search by car or officer on foot if they could be assisted by a helicopter in the air i think that's a tool that would help us in this area," says Board Member Rick Pollack.

One thing that's really neat about the helicopters, they have a heat sensor, so it could recognize if a person is present, even if the human eye doesn't catch it. That feature is being added onto the helicopter right now at the Rockford Airport.

The Winnebago County Board will vote to approve the donation at Wednesday's meeting. Board Member Rick Pollack says he hopes the move will get other local law enforcement agencies to donate as well.


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