By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Baltimore Police Department’s “Foxtrot” plays a vital role in the fight against crime across the city.

When the city’s most dangerous criminals run from the law, police tap the tool you often hear buzzing above Baltimore.

READ MORE: Now That Students Have Returned To The Classroom, One Question Remains: Are Children Safe?

The Baltimore police helicopter tracked a wanted man from above Sunday night from five hundred in the air.

RELATED: Man Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting In Northwest Baltimore

Officers patrol the air 16 hours a day. Sometimes it’s tracking a car chase, sometimes it’s helping find a missing child. Both are fairly common for the officers who staff the helicopter.

“Whether it’s the suspect shooting, or the police shooting, it’s the thing you go, oh my goodness, it’s real,” said flight officer Floyd Werner of Baltimore police.

Officer Werner has been flying Foxtrot over crime scenes for 16 years and he doesn’t work alone.

READ MORE: No Injuries Reported Following Partial Collapse Of Fells Point Restaurant

His sometimes teammate, tactical flight officer Andre Smith, is the connection between ground and air.

“Try to keep that target, whatever that target may be, keep it in sight and guide the ground officers in as quickly and safely as possible,” officer Smith said.

That’s what Foxtrot did back in December, as police closed in on an active shooter, who raced down Reisterstown Road while targeting random victims from his car.

RELATED: Bystander Describes ‘Frightening Moment’ Of Being Shot By Suspect Involved In Police Pursuit

A lot of the time, the officers say, they fly in teams of three and that helps with recording video.

Police work with four helicopters to make sure they can be in the air at any given time.

MORE NEWS: 'I'm All About Ellicott City' Ellicott City Residents & Business Owners React To Number 10 Ranking On Money Magazine's 'Best Places To Live List'

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook