The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) has received its first helicopter.
Sheriff Eddie Farris said the helicopter will provide a much-needed resource in illegal narcotics investigations.
“Each time the helicopter goes up, it has to be mission-specific. We’re expecting at least half of that mission time to be dedicated to illegal narcotics,” Farris said. “Whether that’s doing surveillance, reinforcement for a SWAT callout, or a search warrant relating to an illegal drug house.”
Farris said his department initially requested a helicopter through the LESO military surplus program about three years ago.
“We knew it had to be the right helicopter so that we could actually afford to operate it. This particular one… came from the Vietnam War but is still a very good helicopter,” Farris said. “Not only did they give us that helicopter, they gave us an additional helicopter for parts and things we can use off that for maintenance as time goes on. We’re really proud of the helicopter.”
Farris said the helicopter could also be used for missing person investigations and emergency rescue situations if needed.
The OH58 helicopter will be stored at the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport. Farris said he would like to see helipads around the county in the future for added convenience.