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County Gets New Helicopter

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Sheriff's Department has a brand new state-of the-art helicopter. The new "Air One" officially took flight on Tuesday.

County Legislature Chairman Chuck Swanick said tobacco money was used to pay for two-million dollar helicopter.

He said the department's fleet of aircraft was getting very old and after a recent crash and malfunction of one of the helicopters, it was time to buy a new one.

The new copter will be used in rescues and emergency services.

"The helicopter is one of the major tools of the Erie County Sheriffs Department in providing rescue and police services," said Swanick. "Not only does it have night vision and the capability to track criminals, but it can also pluck someone from the Niagara River or on the lake ice. It is just such an adaptable piece of equipment"

The Sheriffs department said the new helicopter is the only one of its kind in the northeast.