KCPD’s ‘Eye in the Sky’ celebrates 50 years of aerial patrol

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You may have heard or even seen the Kansas City Police Department’s “Eye in the Sky” but they are serving more than just the officers on the ground.

“What it’s doing is giving us the ability to be more than just one police officer in the sky. We can see a lot larger area than the officer on the ground can,” Officer Kevin Colmar, one of KCPD’s helicopter pilots, said.

The unit is celebrating 50 years of service and Officer Colmar is one of the officers tasked with flying the MD 500E model helicopters. The unit has three helicopters and they are each fitted with the latest technology.

“We have a Flir Systems Infrared Camera. This camera is a dual-purpose camera, it’s an infrared camera also a daylight camera and or color camera. We have the tractor beam spotlight, search light, basically this light is a very powerful light that’s able to project a beam down to the ground and allows us to either see or light up a scene,” Officer Colmar said.

The helicopters are helping officers from more than 800-feet in the air.

“The biggest calls that we have an impact on are going to be the car pursuits, foot pursuits. Those are probably are biggest calls that we get where there is a request for our service,” Officer Colmar said.

The helicopters cover around eight counties in both Kansas and Missouri and help cut down pursuit time.

“Within one orbit you get to see all the sides to the building, get to see the parking lots, and open areas. Pretty much in one quick glance you can sum up the scene pretty fast.” Officer Colmar said, “Whenever we work a scene, it involves containment or whatever the case, it involves a lot of man power. For us to be able to show up and use the specialized equipment that’s on board and the perspective that we gain from being up above, a lot of times we will capture that person in a very quick time.”

The KCPD Helicopter Unit will be celebrating its 50 year anniversary on October 7th. To learn more about the unit and the celebration visit this link.