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Winnipeg police defends use of its helicopter in rural Hollywood film shoot

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police defends use of its helicopter in rural Hollywood film shoot' Winnipeg police defends use of its helicopter in rural Hollywood film shoot
WATCH: Winnipeg police admit their chopper was used in a Hollywood film, but they say that didn't detract from regular duties. Global's Zahra Premji reports. – Jan 9, 2018

Winnipeg police said their chopper was used in a Hollywood film, but they didn’t consider that to be a hindrance to regular duties.

On Friday, Global News told you about Winnipeg Police renting out Air-1 for a part of the production of Hollywood film ‘The Parts You Lose.’

READ MORE: Taxpayer-funded Winnipeg police chopper used for film shoot

Police said the chopper was used for a total of 72 minutes from the hangar and back.

But, what officers also added is that no profit was made. The helicopter use was allowed at rate of cost-recovery.

Private aviation companies in Winnipeg say a 72 minute helicopter flight would have cost the movie’s producers about $2,000 to rent one of their helicopters.

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“We aren’t in the business of renting assets for money,” Const. Rob Carver with the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) said.

Inspector John Lutz with the WPS said Air-1 was used to fly two patterns over an area and was filmed doing that.

“It lit up a building and it was filmed doing that,” Lutz said.

This all happened approximately 30km outside the city in the community of La Salle.

Officers said using the chopper in the production of a movie was no different than shutting down the Arlington Bridge in September for the production of a film for five days.

RELATED: Future of Winnipeg police Air1 chopper up in the air

However Const. Carver said in that situation the public was notified as it had a direct impact on the public and traffic.

“This is what any large city would do I think if you’re trying to attract the film industry,” Carver said.

But, according to three big cities in the country, that just is not the case.

Global News reached out to Edmonton, Montreal, and York Regional Police. All said they have never used their police choppers for anything other than police business.

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Even one of the largest Hollywood filming hubs, New York, said that was not part of its practice.

Global News reached out to the NYPD and in an email statement the police department said:

“When filming in the City of New York all filming and logistics are done by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.  All shows/movies/films use mock NYPD autos with precincts and car numbers that are not authentic to the NYPD.”

The NYPD also said it has never rented out its police chopper for any form of Hollywood or filming purposes and only uses it for police business.

As for Winnipeg’s police chopper, Const. Carver said the helicopter was only minutes away from the city and was still accessible if it was needed for police duties.

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