The Houston Police Department has taken delivery of a new H125 helicopter. It marks the first H125 for the department and will be utilised for fighting violent and property crime, and assisting with SAR, homeland security and firefighting support.
It is also a lasting reminder of one of its dedicated officers.
Houston police officer Jason Knox was 35 years old when he lost his life in the line of duty on 2 May 2020. His badge number 2374, retired by Houston police chief Art Acevedo, is written in black on the new aircraft as its FAA registration number. Knox, a tactical flight officer, had served on the department for eight years and was preparing to train as a pilot.
“We are always honoured to do work for our nation's crimefighters, and this particular completion meant so much to our entire team,” says aircraft configuration coordinator Amy McMullen at Shreveport, Louisiana-based Metro Aviation, the company that completed the helicopter. “Our hearts are with officer Knox and all who knew him, and we're humbled to play a part in this aircraft, ensuring his legacy lives on.”
Metro outfitted the multi-mission aircraft with a FLIR camera system, TLX searchlight, Bambi Bucket, AirTEP rapid extraction device, Tyler fast rope and bench system, Goodrich hoist and floats.
“Airbus is proud to support aerial law enforcement teams by delivering aircraft that allow them to serve and protect their communities,” adds Johannes Dienemann, VP of civil programmes and industry at Airbus Helicopters. “We've worked alongside the teams at Metro Aviation for countless deliveries over the years and it's by sharing common values of quality, safety and customer satisfaction that we are able to provide the helicopters our customers need to save lives, protect communities and ensure critical infrastructure across the country. Thank you to the entire Metro family for your great work and continued partnership.”
In addition to the new H125, the Houston PD utilises six MD 500Es, one Bell 412 and three Sikorsky S-300C/Schweizer 269C helicopters.