- Associated Press - Sunday, April 18, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Police in Ohio’s capital city say they are reviewing the flight pattern of a police patrol helicopter that spelled out the department’s initials when viewed on a flight tracking application.

Columbus Division of Police officials said the helicopter took off just after midnight Saturday for a regularly scheduled 1 /2 hour flight and responded on several high-priority runs, including a stabbing and an assault in progress.

But in between the dispatched runs, the pilot “flew a pattern which spelled out “CPD” when later viewed on a flight tracking application,” the department said in a statement. Officials said that took less than ten minutes, was done at normal altitude and didn’t result in any missed calls for service or additional fuel usage.

But, officials said, “even the appearance that officers were not operating within the mission of the Aviation Section is not acceptable.”

The Columbus City Council’s president pro tempore, Elizabeth Brown, described it in a Twitter post as a “joyride.” Citing her unsuccessful proposal last summer to decrease the size of the fleet by one, she said she is “beyond frustrated.”

Council member Rob Dorans, who supported Brown’s proposal, said officials had been told repeatedly “how essential every second of airtime was.”

“This joyride was just plain dumb and a waste of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Commander Robert Sagle, who oversees the Aviation Section, is reviewing the flight pattern and details of the flight, the department said.

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