The Botswana Police Service has signed a purchase contract with Eurocopter Southern Africa to facilitate the acquisition of three AS 350 B3 helicopters at a cost of over P80 million.
This is in preparation for the establishment of an Air Support Unit.
The signing ceremony took place at Police Headquarters on Thursday.
The Commissioner of Botswana Police, Thebeyame Tsimako, signed on behalf of the Botswana Police while Mr. Guy Joannes signed on behalf of Eurocopter Southern Africa.
Mr. Joannes is CEO of Eurocopter Southern Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Tsimako said the event was a landmark in the history of the Botswana Police because the organization will have an Air Support Unit.
He said the new Unit will enhance police operations.
The Commissioner said the acquisition of the three helicopters will assist the police to respond promptly to emergency situations and report from the public.
Mr. Tsimako observed that poor response to the public calls could negatively affect the public confidence in the police.
He said the purchase of the helicopters was an indication of government’s commitment to develop the Police Service.
According to information from the Botswana Police, the three helicopters will be fitted with modern airborne observation systems that are used by law enforcement agencies worldwide.
“They will be suitable for use in road traffic enforcement, rapid response to crime incidents and deployment of personnel as well as aerial surveillance,” said the Botswana Police Service spokesperson Senior Superintendent Christopher Mbulawa.
The purchase of the three helicopters comes in the wake of repeated public complaints that the police service is not adequately equipped to deal with increasingly sophisticated and organised crime.