ASP to buy helicopter with stimulus money

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - Arkansas officials say federal stimulus money for criminal-justice programs will buy the State Police a new helicopter and pay for new equipment at the state Crime Lab to improve processing of evidence.

The state Finance and Administration Department said Thursday that $9.6 million was being distributed from an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, better known as the JAG program.  The new State Police helicopter, expected to cost $3.5 million, will be equipped with a hoist capable of lowering rescuers into remote areas that would otherwise be inaccessible, according to a DF&A news release.

The new aircraft will replace a 13-year-old chopper.  Another $3.9 million is going to local law-enforcement initiatives, including $2.7 million for drug treatment and enforcement programs in 19 communities.

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