The doors are closing on the Tulsa Police Department's Air Support.
The city's accountants figure grounding the helicopters will save $195,000 dollars this year.
The police helicopters have aided in the capture of many criminals, especially after dark.
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The cutbacks at the Tulsa Police Department include the helicopter unit. Five officers who have spent most of their careers flying - are replacing rookies out on the streets.
Sgt. Ron Moulton isn't losing his job - but is losing his assignment of more than 20 years. He and four other police department pilots go back on ground patrol next week.
The department loses the aerial advantage that has countless times helped officers locate suspects.
The city's accountants figure grounding the helicopters will save $195,000 dollars this year. Sgt. Moulton believes the actual savings will be much less, and the cost of not having aerial backup for ground officers - will be very high.
"We're what's called a force multiplier," said Sgt. Ron Moulton, Tulsa Police Air Support. "Two guys in a helicopter can cross the city limits to city limits in about four minutes."
The helicopters almost always fly at night, when criminals can most easily hide from officers on the ground - but are most easily seen from the helicopter.
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