NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Some of the Capital Outlay funding will go to Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) to replace a helicopter. It was lost in a crash last July.
Undersheriff Larry Koren, BCSO Lieutenant Fred Beers, Deputy Michael Levison, and BC Fire Department Rescue Specialist Matthew King were killed when the aircraft when down near Chapelle.
The crew was returning to Albuquerque after helping fight wildfires near Las Vegas.
According to a preliminary NTSB report, two witnesses saw the helicopter descending quickly without making any turns when it hit the ground. A final report hasn’t been released, however, and it could take years to complete.
Sheriff John Allen said he’s still looking at the best ways to relaunch the unit.
“We’ll never know when that final report comes. That’s why I suspended it. We’re making sure, internally, that we’re doing what we believe is correct, and then also asking our stakeholders at UNMH, the Bernalillo County Fire Department, making sure we ask also their opinions and their thoughts. We want to make sure that when we do go back up, we’re better than ever,” explained Allen.
Sheriff Allen said he would like to see an increased partnership with Albuquerque Police Department’s Air Unit.