Businessman Ross Perot Junior donated a helicopter to the Dallas Police Department on Wednesday.
Perot personally delivered the Bell 407 GX to Dallas City Hall and it was not the first time he landed a helicopter there.
Mayor Eric Johnson was happy to the City Hall Plaza used as a landing pad Wednesday.
“We need partnerships like this one to build for our city's future. We need business leaders in this city to say Dallas is more than just a great and growing market for them to make a profit,” Johnson said. “Our police department must have more resources and more help to achieve our shared goal, which is to make Dallas the safest large city in this country.”
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Perot said he hopes the large donation will inspire other business donors.
“The business community has very deep support for the Dallas Police and with this gift, hopefully, we’ll get more and more visible support for our police as we continue to build one of the great cities in the nation and great cities in the world. We cannot be a great city without an incredible police force,” Perot said.
Two helicopters Dallas Police were using before the donation are much older with shorter flying time capability.
“It will allow us to rotate some of that, those older ones, and get this one up in the air flying for longer periods of time, increasing our mission capability,” Deputy Chief Michael Igo said.
In 1982, Perot landed another helicopter on the plaza at Dallas City Hall with copilot Jay Coburn at the end of the first helicopter trip ever completed around the world.
The two fliers stopped on ships in oceans to refuel on the long journey.
“When I got back, I said I'd never want to fly over anything larger than White Rock Creek ever again. There was a lot of water in the world that we had to traverse. And that's really the reason the trip hadn't been done,” Coburn said.
Coburn was at City Hall for Wednesday’s helicopter delivery.
Perot uses a helicopter to show the property to clients for his Hillwood Development Company.
“Every six or seven years we trade in and these are barely used. They’re great ships. And I’m close to the Dallas helicopter unit and I saw how old their helicopters were and I said I will donate ours to you,” Perot said. “And so this is a great excuse to sort of recreate what we did 40 years ago, and honor and thank the men and women of the Dallas police force,” Perot said.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia came from California less than a year ago. He praised the public support he has seen for police in Dallas.
“And the biggest difference, you've just witnessed it. Ross Perot Junior epitomizes the difference I've seen in the City of Dallas since I've been here. Thank you," said
Perot and Coburn watched the helicopter leave City Hall in Dallas Police possession.
Perot said he hopes it helps officers and saves lives.