Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No - it's the police Eagle helicopter, and as of Monday it will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

These extra hours have become possible through the government's Safer Communities package announced earlier this year, which will see an extra $388 million dollars of funding for police during the next four years.

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 amongst 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."

An official ceremony will be held at Eagle's base at Mechanics Bay starting at 10am.