NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In 2022, the Metro Nashville Police Department spent about $12 million to purchase two new helicopters, and starting next week they will be able to make the most out of that investment.
“We’re coming into the 21st century in our aviation unit with these aircrafts,” said Sgt. Nathan Dungan. “Our capabilities are so much more now.”
Members of the Metro Nashville Police Aviation Unit are about to complete a six-day course in search-and-rescue training that will allow them to locate a person in need from the air and extract them out of the area.
“It’s bringing a capability of them being able to remove someone in distress from very tight spaces, or flooded areas, or very dense woods, or mountain tops, and some of these hills, just different scenarios,” explained Lenny Cunningham who lead the trainings.
Dungan said one of the situations where this new ability would’ve been helpful was the 2010 Nashville flood.
“If we have another major incident, we’re here and we can help versus just watch that happen. In 2010, the aircraft that we had, the older aircrafts, were limited to spotting people and calling them out on the police radio,” he said.
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The older helicopters were built more than 50 years ago and were surplus aircrafts from after the Vietnam War.
“We’re able to carry more people, fly faster, go further,” Dungan said.
It’s a capability he said will not only be used to serve Davidson County, but beyond if needed.