It was the State Patrol’s FLIR helicopter you heard last night

We got a few emails asking us if we knew why a helicopter was circling over Northfield for quite a while at 1 am this morning.

I spoke with Northfield Deputy Police Chief Chuck Walerius this morning. He said it was a helicopter equipped with a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) unit from the Minnesota State Patrol Flight Section. They had requested it to help look for a suicidal individual.  The individual was eventually found using cell phone triangulation at around 4:30 am.  and was rushed to Northfield Hospital in time.

See the March Strib story titled Thermal imaging: An eye in Minnesota’s sky.


  1. Jessica Paxton said:

    Thanks for this update, Griff. I was wondering what was going on last night. Sounded like more than one ‘copter circling my ‘hood!

    June 2, 2010
  2. Kathie Galotti said:

    Ok, who was this guy such that the State Patrol would send out a helicopter??!! I can’t believe they do this for every suicide call?

    June 2, 2010
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Kathie, are you implying that someone of higher status (power, wealth, etc) would warrant this level of response but not necessarily one of us plain ‘ol citizens?

    June 3, 2010
  4. Patrick Enders said:

    In Baltimore, people with little wealth or power are frequently pursued by helicopters.

    June 3, 2010
  5. Kathie Galotti said:

    Griff: yes, that is exactly what I think

    June 4, 2010
  6. Scott Oney said:

    Baltimore and people with little wealth or power, huh? Grad students at Johns Hopkins?

    June 4, 2010

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