Police say the round-the-clock running of the Eagle helicopter is a "game-changer" for Auckland.

The funding for the helicopter - now manned by 14 staff, up from eight, 24 hours a day, seven days per week - came from the Government's $388 million Safer Communities package.

It had been operating Monday to Saturday, but as of today, it will operate full time in a bid to provide "essential support" to on-the-ground police staff tasked with keeping Auckland communities safe.

Sergeant Callum Young heads the Eagle Unit and told NZH Focus it's a challenging but vital job.

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"We can provide something that no other asset in New Zealand can provide. And we believe we give the frontline staff a distinct advantage in fighting crime when we're involved."

Young says they have a 43 per cent success rate at catching offenders.

He says they'd identified a window where a lot of crime happens - between three and seven o'clock in the morning, which they hadn't previously been able to cover.

"And we're now going to be able to deploy to that and make a significant impact on it."

From today the police Eagle helicopter will operate full time in a bid to provide
From today the police Eagle helicopter will operate full time in a bid to provide "essential support" to on-the-ground police staff. Photo / File

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the investment enabled police to allocate new staff, equipment, training and other resources to districts and service centres and included among this is the ability for Eagle to go 24/7.

"Literally having 'eyes in the sky' will give us an invaluable advantage in keeping the streets safe for our communities," Bush said.

"Eagle is involved in not only catching offenders but it also greatly assists with search-and-rescue operations.

"There are many examples where thanks to Eagle missing children, elderly people and those who may have health issues have been quickly located."

In the 2016/17 financial year, Eagle attended over 3500 incidents and in almost 1600 of those incidents, the targeted person was located.

This includes offenders who had committed offences including burglaries, vehicle theft, aggravated robberies or been involved in pursuits.

"These results really speak for themselves," said Bush.

"We want our community to know that when Eagle is up in the air, it is playing a vital role in keeping families and whanau safe."