Aviation director CPD says city has ‘more important things to focus on’ than ‘CPD’ helicopter flight


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus Police Division helicopter flight has garnered a lot of attention since Saturday morning.

The flight indicates “CPD” on the east side of the flight tracker app, FlightAware.

The helicopter was in the air very early on Saturday morning.

Police said part of the flight lasted 10 minutes, no service calls were missed and no additional fuel was used.

Columbus City Council Chairman Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown was one of those who criticized the theft, posting on Twitter on Saturday.

The commander who oversees the department’s aviation unit joined Monday’s city council meeting to discuss the matter.

“I would first like to apologize for the time and attention it took when the city has much more important things to focus on,” said Commander Robert Sagle of the Columbus Police Division. “I also don’t want to interfere with the excellent work that the members of the helicopter unit do on a daily basis.”

A Columbus Police statement on Saturday afternoon said the appearance of officers not doing their job was “not acceptable.”

“Even if it’s less than 10 minutes, at 1 a.m. make a roundabout, a circular situation above a neighborhood is really disruptive even at less than 10 minutes,” Brown said. “So my respectful request would be to really focus on that rather than noting that the time was just ‘less than 10 minutes’.”

The city’s security director said the incident was still under review.

According to FlightAware, the helicopter was in the air from 12:03 a.m. to 1:36 a.m. on Saturday.

Last June, Brown proposed limiting the ability of the police department to purchase military equipment and reducing the department’s helicopter fleet from five to four.

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