DeKalb County, Ga.’s two police helicopters help search for suspects, look for missing people and stolen cars, and patrol high-crime areas. They zero in on a neighborhood after a rash of burglaries to search back yards for removed screen doors or other signs of trouble, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A lot of what we do is proactive,” Lt. Rodney Rancifer said. “We don’t just sit around and wait until we get a call.”
DeKalb has had a helicopter since 1972, but a growing number of Atlanta-area departments are taking to the air, said Rancifer, coordinator of the Metro Atlanta Law Enforcement Helicopter Association.
In July, DeKalb County plans to receive a $2 million police helicopter to replace one built in 1999. The new chopper will come with cutting-edge technology, such as the ability to instantly transmit aerial pictures of a car chase or crime scene to officers on the ground.