CPD aviation head apologizes for distraction caused by ‘CPD’ helicopter flight

Local News

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

The flight spells out “CPD” over the east side on the flight tracking app, FlightAware.

The helicopter was in the air very early Saturday morning.

Police said that part of the flight took 10 minutes, no service calls were missed, and no extra fuel was used.

Columbus City Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown has been one of those criticzing the flight, posting on Twitter Saturday.

The commander who oversees the department’s aviation unit joined Monday’s City Council meeting to discuss the issue.

“I would first like to apologize to the time and attention this has caused when the city has much more important things to focus on,” said Commander Robert Sagle of the Columbus Division of Police. “I also don’t want to take away from the great work achieved by the members of the helicopter unit on a daily basis.” 

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

“Even if it’s less than 10 minutes, at 1 in the morning kind of do a roundabout, circular situation over a neighborhood is really disruptive even at less than 10 minutes,” Brown said. “So my respectful request would be to really focus on that more than noting the time was a mere ‘under 10 minutes.’” 

The city’s safety director said the incident is still being reviewed.

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

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

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