Fly like an Eagle

Sirens & Sounds organiser, Shaun Bradley with Sergeant Colin Ware of the Tamaki Makaurau Police Air Support Unit

To mark the occasion of the Sirens & Sounds festival to be held in Eastdale park in November, we put some questions to the Police about the police helicopters we all know and love in Avondale:

When Avondale residents hear a helicopter circling overhead, is it likely to be an NZ Police Eagle?

Although it will often be an Eagle, there are numerous private, commercial and medical helicopters that work within the Auckland area, so often we’re mistaken for another helicopter flying by. If you see a helicopter flying in tight circles, or orbits as we call them, it will likely be the Police helicopter and we will be actively searching for something. If you see this occurring, the best thing to do is stay inside and call the Police if you see anything suspicious.

Where are the helicopters based? How quickly can they be dispatched?

We are now based in the industrial part of Onehunga. From this location, we can reach the corners of Greater-Auckland in around 12 minutes. Our response is a lot faster for the main suburban areas of Auckland.

What events would necessitate a helicopter being dispatched?

Generally speaking, the Eagle will attend any incident where we will add value to the Police response. A few examples of the type of jobs we’ll respond to include burglaries, fleeing driver incidents, lost/missing children, elderly or vulnerable people, firearms incidents, violent offences and search warrants, to name a few.

What are the benefits of the new suite of Eagles?

Our upgraded helicopters bring about a huge advancement in equipment and technology for us. We are now safer and can fly faster, stay up longer and ultimately offer our unique level of protection to the community in a more efficient and effective way. Although our last helicopters served the New Zealand public extremely well, they were no longer fit-for-purpose and we were unable to meet the demands we placed on them.

What involvement does NZ Police have in the upcoming Sirens & Sounds festival?

Well, I can certainly confirm an Eagle will be attending!! We love this event as it gives us the opportunity to interact with the public and give everyone a close-up view of what we do and how we can keep our communities safe.