Mayor Mel and private sector money put the Toronto copper chopper in the air. But the racket it's causing in quiet bedroom communities hasn't made it a hit with the public.
Complaints streamed in to police and councillors after the copter woke Moore Park residents early one recent morning.
The cops' eye in the sky is also irritating other neighbourhoods.
"We were just alarmed that the helicopter was circling our house," says Bloor West Village resident Helen Armstrong, adding, "It was so loud."
Since the chopper took to the sky August 1, the police have received 32 complaints on the helicopter noise hotline (808-0901). According to Sergeant Mike Schuelle, 11 were confirmed to be due to the helicopter.
In Calgary, where a police helicopter has been at work for five years, there were over 100 complaints in the first year, according to chief pilot Jeff Talbert.
He says complaints have since tapered off.
Toronto's blue bird could drop by your 'hood soon as the cops attempt to prove its worth during the six-month trial. The chopper program will be evaluated by city auditor Jeffrey Griffiths before council decides whether to permanently foot the bill.
Meanwhile, chopper watchers are eagerly awaiting the release of an evaluation by London police of a year-long helicopter trial. According to a spokesperson, 143 complaints were lodged there.