Success for Sevier helicopter service

Public Service Aviation shared with Sevier County leaders on Friday just how much they

Air One was showed off to Sevier County leaders on Friday. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Public Service Aviation shared with Sevier County leaders on Friday just how much they've helped fight crime.

The private helicopter company has been working in Sevier County for 4 months, and responded to 102 calls in the first 17 shifts. Right now the service is in a test run, while the county decides if they want to continue funding.

"Our call volume is much higher than anyone anticipated," said Jim Hickman, Co-Founder of PSA. "The program that we designed has now been and we have agencies from as far away as Georgia and Witchitaw Kansas interested in starting a program for their site."

The helicopter program uses the combined financial resources of Sevier County, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg for funding. Funding for the test project runs out in 2 months, and the group hopes to convince the county it was worth the investment.

Air One as it's called, has a goal to reach 92% of the population of Sevier County in 3 minutes. In the 4 months of operation, the chopper has beat ground units 82% of the time to crimes.

Other regional police agencies were invited to the presentation so they could learn about the program and how it could impact their communities.

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