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The St. Joseph Police Department, along with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Kansas Highway Patrol conducted another helicopter operation Wednesday night.

This is the third such operation this year for local police. The purpose is to use air support to pursue and catch individuals who run from police after being stopped. The police are able to conduct operations with the use of the Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter.

When a chase is initiated, police are able to have the helicopter follow the individual, rather than police chasing someone for an extended period of time on foot.

In Wednesday night’s operation, there were a total of 54 car stops and 40 tickets written. Out of the 54 stops, 21 individuals were arrested.

Nine of the stops resulted in pursuits, with seven individuals being arrested.

The 21 arrests varied in charges. There were arrests made on municipal and state warrants, for resisting arrest and for possession of drugs.

Commander Eric Protzman with the St. Joseph Police Department said the department has had more success in the long run with these operations.

“People run from us on a daily basis, but this way we are able to do it in a safer manner with air support,” Protzman said.

Protzman said all three of the operations this year have had similar success rates.

Bailey Ketcham can be reached