Agreement to boost regional police air squad cooperation

Updated: 2014-04-24 06:59

By Hou Liqiang (China Daily)

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Police helicopters in Beijing will be able to carry out missions in neighboring Tianjin and Hebei province, under an agreement that aims to ensure public safety and promote regional integration of law enforcement.

Under the framework agreement signed on Wednesday, a command mechanism will be created to coordinate activities in the three areas. Beijing's police air squad will help the Tianjin and Hebei police carry out flight missions and assist with search-and-rescue.

The agreement creates the first cross-regional cooperation platform for police air squads in China, Fu Zhenghua, vice-minister of public security and head of the Beijing Public Security Bureau, said at the signing ceremony.

Fu said the agreement represents a concrete step toward the integration of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, and will help guarantee the security of the region.

Under the agreement, the Beijing police air squad will conduct drills with their counterparts in Tianjin and Hebei and help promote their development.

China has 22 police air squads, equipped with some 40 helicopters. Beijing's squad is the largest, with five helicopters, 18 pilots and 22 maintenance personnel.

According to Fu, the cooperation will be expanded to include Shanxi, Liaoning and Shandong provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Teng Yilan, deputy director of Tianjin Public Security Bureau, said the cooperation answers the need to maintain social stability and fight terrorism.

The Tianjin police department purchased its first helicopter in June.

While there is no police air squad in Hebei province, Dong Xiansheng, head of the Hebei Public Security Department, said at the ceremony that it will cooperate with Beijing and Tianjin in logistics and training.

The effort will include a special fund to build helicopter landing pads and facilities for fueling and aircraft maintenance. Hebei will coordinate with local military units "to build airports and train maintenance personnel", Dong said.

(China Daily 04/24/2014 page4)