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NY sheriff hawks helicopter's naming rights; logo deals a rarity in filling police budget gaps
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) ' Budget cutbacks have sent a central New York county sheriff scrambling to find advertising revenue to keep a high-tech police helicopter flying in 2012.
His proposed solution? Slap a corporate logo on the Bell 407 chopper.
Talks are under way with two potential sponsors. Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH'-gah) County sheriff's officials hope to raise at least $100,000 a year.
Air-1 has been a versatile public-safety tool since 1999, helping authorities chase down fugitives, airlift accident victims and spearhead rescue missions.
While hawking naming rights for municipal stadiums and other public entities is nothing new for the nation's cash-strapped cities, sponsorship deals with police agencies are much less common.
On top of that, watchdog groups ' and many in uniform ' are wary about conflicts when police cozy up with advertisers.