A crook-spotting helicopter will soon be roaming the skies over Salt Lake County.
County commissioners voted Wednesday to allow Sheriff Pete Hayward to buy two aircraft from the U.S. Army for only $1,000 apiece - one to be flown and the other to be used for parts. The Army is selling 180 of its basic training helicopters in Ft. Rucker, Ala.Hayward has long wanted a helicopter to aid in patrolling the widespread unincorporated area, which has a population of more than 250,000. Commissioners, however, always considered the requests to be too costly.
Commissioners postponed a decision earlier this week, saying they wanted to know more about the cost of operating a helicopter.
Officials from the sheriff's office said Wednesday the aircraft will cost between $2,000 and $4,000 yearly for insurance and about $60 in maintenance costs for every hour flown.
Hayward said he already employs two pilots who were trained in the military. The helicopter will be in service as soon as officials can travel to Alabama and back.