By Gbenga Akanmu & Monsur Olowoopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday,Â launched two Bell 412 EP Helicopters with a promise to commit the stateâ€™s resources to securing the lives and property of residents.
Speaking during the launch at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Fashola admitted that achieving a crime-free society was a tall order but reiterated that the state government would outspend, outrun and overwhelm the competition that criminals offer.
â€œWe know there is no crime-free society, but we understand that crime and crime patterns are very fluid and we have resolved to stay ahead of the competition. That is why we have made the investment in these machines to give us the capacity to monitor traffic, pursue criminals, fight fire and evacuate people promptly when accidents happen,â€ the governor said.
According to him, the choice of Bell 412 EP was informed by the multi-faceted platform which allows it to be utilised in several functions, revealing that â€œthe helicopters are specially and uniquely configured for fire fighting, emergency services, search and rescue, air ambulance and airborne surveillance roles.â€
He also added that the same type was currently being used by government agencies all over the world including the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia, the Police of Czechs, the Finish Border Guard, Los Angeles County Fire Department, New York City Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, amongst others.
He said the helicopters exceeded the standard Bell 412 prototype, adding that at the request of the state government they have been fitted with 31 extra options to suit the use to which the state acquired them.
On his part, Lagos State Commissioner of Police,Â Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, expressed optimism that the helicopters would enhance security surveillance in the state while pledging that the police would continue to give the needed support to the state government to ensure security ofÂ lives and property of citizens in the state.