Montgomery County police chopper proposal still an issue

Spotting from a Prince George\'s County police helicopter helped the Montgomery County police arrest three bank-robbery suspects after closing I-270 Tuesday morning. (MSTA photo)

WASHINGTON — Tuesday morning’s dramatic arrest of three bank-robbery suspects on Interstate 270 was made possible because the Montgomery County police received instant information from the Prince George’s County police helicopter hovering overhead.

But should Montgomery County have its own helicopter? The question has been raised before.

Court documents show the Montgomery County officers were directed to the alleged getaway car by the airborne officers, who told them the car for which they were searching was next to some dump trucks.

Five years ago, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger asked for a helicopter and was turned down due to budgetary concerns.

On Wednesday, he said the fact that the Prince George’s helicopter was available is an argument some use against the idea of Montgomery County getting its own.

“They’ve got a pretty good argument to say that we should rely on other jurisdictions, which is what we … do in reality,” Manger said.

But not surprisingly, his opinion hasn’t changed.

“I could certainly cite this as another example of why we should consider it. I have always touted the value of having that aerial kind of support.”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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