Polair 2 lands at Archerfield Airport on Tuesday morning. Photo: Kristian Silva
Brisbane now has its own police helicopter, with Queensland Police unveiling its new eye in the sky.
The chopper, named Polair 2, will service communities across Brisbane, Ipswich and Moreton Bay but could also be deployed between Caboolture and Coolangatta and west to the Lockyer Valley.
The Eurocopter BO 105 Super Five is one of two helicopters promised by the state government before the 2012 election.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey inspects Polair 2 with Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service chief Pilot Peter Bird. Photo: Kristian Silva
Polair 1, which is based on the Gold Coast, has been operational since last year.
The new chopper, which is owned by Surf Life Saving Queensland, has been contracted to the Queensland Police Service until July 2016 and will be based at Archerfield Airport.
Polair 2 is a former German police helicopter that has been refitted. It includes state-of-the art avionics, infrared camera, a tracking spotlight and a loudspeaker which can be heard from 2000 feet.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the helicopter would hover in southeast Queensland skies during drug detections, intelligence gathering, and during the G20 Summit.
“This new helicopter has the latest technology, with a top-gun crew that’ll keep Queenslanders safer in their communities and in their streets,” he said.
“Before the last election, the community and the police were crying out for new airborne assets.”
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said Polair 2’s team would be made up of eight people, with the helicopter on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This isn’t about budgets, this is about the safety and security of the community. We will fund whatever is necessary to keep that chopper in the air,” he said.
He said the chopper would be particularly useful during high-speed pursuits because of the “very restrictive” policies around police chases.