The Denver Police Department is ready to spend nearly $6 million on a replacement helicopter.
The department hopes to trade in its existing Bell helicopter, which is 20 years old, for $500,000. That money will go toward the purchase of a Bell 407 GXP chopper.
The new helicopter has a base price of $3.1 million, plus about $2 million for police add-ons and another $762,000 of interest payments. Most of the money will come through Banc of America Public Capital Corp under a capital lease, which essentially means this is a rent-to-own situation.
The interest rate on the money is 3.2 percent. The bank was selected through a competitive process.
The new helicopter will have better cockpit safety, night vision and infrared systems, according to a city presentation.
The Denver City Council will have to approve the capital lease and each of the annual lease payments of about $487,000. The new helicopter is expected to have a useful life of up to 15 years, according to city records.
The council’s finance and governance committee on Tuesday forwarded the proposal to the full body.