Chicago Police Department Wants to Add 2 Helicopters to Aging Fleet

Oct. 26, 2023
The additional aircraft would mean the Chicago Police Department's fleet would total five helicopters, but that still puts the agency behind departments in other major cities.

The Chicago Police Department wants to add two more helicopters to its aging fleet, but even with those additions, the agency still lags behind other major cities.

New Chicago Superintendent Larry Snelling made his pitch for the new helicopters during a budget meeting this week, WBBM-TV reports. He made the case that the aircraft are essential tools for department when it comes to investigating carjackings, robberies and other violent crimes.

"When we do have our helicopters working, we do have them up, and they have been very effective," said Snelling. "Moving forward, that's why we have been pushing to try to build upon our air fleet."

Currently, the department has three helicopters, and officials hope to bring that number to five. That doesn't even come close to other cities. For instance, Houston has 13 helicopters, and Los Angeles has the largest fleet with 17.

"It's impossible to understand how all these other cities have made these investments in and aircraft fleet and are doing much better at confronting the carjacking problem than we are," said Ald. Brendan Riley.

The cost for the new helicopters will run the city $12 million. That includes the price of the aircraft, as well as the training for two pilots.

About the Author

Joe Vince

Joining Endeavor Business Media in 2018, Joe has worked on the company's city services publications. He began working at as the assistant editor. Before starting at Endeavor, Joe had worked for a variety of print and online news outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, the South Bend Tribune, Reddit and

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