Jackonicko
Topic Author
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US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:34 pm

The USA is the home of Police Aviation – in terms of scale and history - but I'll be darned if I can understand it. Can anyone help with some insight?

With the increasing emphasis on ‘Homeland Security’, US Law Enforcement is becoming increasingly complex, involving a host of federal agencies, as well as local services at State, County and City level.

There seems to be no single model at the local level – and the organisation of law enforcement differs from state to state, such that State Troopers from one state may not know how the neighbouring state’s police forces are organised.

1) There are Federal agencies that work ‘country-wide’ – many of them with their own air departments. Some in this list have aircraft and helicopters, some don’t. Can anyone confirm which don't, or add any that do?

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms - ATF 

Central Intelligence Agency - CIA
Customs Service
Department of Homeland Security popular
Drug Enforcement Administration
Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

Federal Emergency Management Agency - FEMA

NSA
US Border Patrol
United States Marshals Service
United States Secret Service (USSS)


2) There are some notionally Federal agencies that actually have a more localised ‘remit’
United States Park Police
US Capitol Police
US Virgin Islands Police

At State level there may be State Troopers and/or State Police, and even Highway Patrols. What’s the difference? Then you have County Police and/or Sheriff’s Departments. Again, what’s the difference? All can have aircraft, but there is a vast difference in size – with some units having a single helicopter, and others operating multiple examples of several types. Hours flown differ markedly – Delaware flying 350 hours annually, Virginia more than 3,800.

These units perform a wide variety of functions, including SAR and EMS, as well as more traditional ‘Police Support’ duties. Increasingly, units are flying Homeland Security missions.
 
buss61
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:47 pm

for the local and county folks they receive aircraft based on Federal grants and overall funds collected buy the respected department like drug money that has been seized from traffic stops and things like. Alot of Sherrifs dept. do EMS and Rescue along with normal police duties.
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sprout5199
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:22 pm



Quoting Buss61 (Reply 1):
for the local and county folks they receive aircraft based on Federal grants and overall funds collected buy the respected department like drug money that has been seized from traffic stops and things like. Alot of Sherrifs dept. do EMS and Rescue along with normal police duties.

The Sheriff's office where I work put the purchase of its helicopters in its budget, no grants for them. If you get something with "grant" money, most of the time you can only use it for "grant" purposes nothing else, until the grant runs out, then its yours to keep and use as you see fit. There are a lot of rules for grant stuff.

State police and Troopers are different, (Troopers and highway patrol are the same thing(at least here in FL). Fl doesn't have a "state police". We have FDLE(Florida Dept of Law Enforcement) witch mainly deals with regulations and rules concerning law enforcement, I.E. they investigate police involved shootings when requested , and provide an "outsiders" look at Police depts, check that a dept's S.O.P. is following FL law and so on. Troopers(FHP) are tasked with patrolling FL roads and highways, thats it.

Here in FL the local Sheriff is the #1 law enforcement officer in the given county--he can shut down a local PD if the need arises. But I have heard in other states the Sheriff is just the Jailer for the county.

Quoting Jackonicko (Thread starter):
Then you have County Police and/or Sheriff's Departments. Again, what's the difference? All can have aircraft, but there is a vast difference in size -- with some units having a single helicopter, and others operating multiple examples of several types. Hours flown differ markedly -- Delaware flying 350 hours annually, Virginia more than 3,800.

Alot of that depends on money. Broward county (just south of me) has 6 or 7 helicopters but we only have 2, but they also run the fire dept and ours is separate(look up n276th to see our Traumahawk). We also put alot of hours on ours--fly at least 5 hrs a day on each one. We are soon to get a C182.

Most, if not all of the Feds have some sort of aviation dept.I have seen aircraft from all of them except FEMA--they use who every is there.
any more ?? just ask and I try to answer.

Dan in Jupiter
 
buss61
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:06 pm

In AL, State Troopers are the highway patrol as well they primarily handle all things dealing with transportation. As for PD and SO the PD handles there citys jurisdiction and the SO serves papers, Jailer, and handels the drug busts and Sting operations. SO also polices the rural areas that dont have a police dept, like the county I work in as an EMT. In AL the Air Ambulance is carried out buy a private componay known as Alabama LifeSaver, which is further owned by Omni Flight Helicopters. The operate out Birmingham/UAB Hospital, Gadsden Municipal airport, and Auburn.
Any Time Baby!!!
 
aeroweanie
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:15 pm

By law, the CIA may not conduct operations within the United States. Hence, their aircraft are only used on operations outside the US. The same holds for the US State Department, which has a large fleet of aircraft. The NSA does not have any aircraft of their own. They analyze data acquired by military aircraft.

The Department of Homeland Security took over many of the agencies distributed elsewhere in the government. Hence, they now control the USCG, Border Patrol, Customs Service, FEMA and the Secret Service. They are trying to unify the aircraft fleets of all but the USCG, but are meeting resistance. ATF and DEA are still in the Deparment of Justice, along with the FBI and United States Marshals Service. They all seem to have their own air fleets. There are other US government agencies that operate aircraft, such as NOAA, FAA and the Fish and Wildlife Service. And then, as you note, that are some "local" federal agencies that operate aircraft.

The FAA controls the airworthiness of all non-US government aircraft in the US. However, many (but not all) government aircraft are designated as "public use" and their airworthiness is not controlled by the FAA.
 
sprout5199
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:35 pm



Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
However, many (but not all) government aircraft are designated as "public use" and their airworthiness is not controlled by the FAA.

Are you talking about the Federal Govt or local? I know our aircraft are reg. with the FAA, and have to follow all the rules they have. However, if had gotten on of the "extra" Bell helicopters from the army, it can't not take passengers due to "not being certified", thats we didn't get any.


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Photo © Jason Tu


One of our TraumaHawks


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Photo © Diana Matusik


One of our SO Helicopters, I believe the other is Greg Norman's.

Dan in Jupiter
 
starrion
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:33 pm

In MA, each town has it's own Police dept. and only Boston has any aviation.
The county sheriff mostly handles correction facilities and prisoner transport.
The State Police handle the state highway system.

There are much smaller departments including transit police, state parks ect.

As far as aviation goes, only Boston and the State police.
Knowledge Replaces Fear
 
aeroweanie
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:36 pm



Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 5):
Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
However, many (but not all) government aircraft are designated as "public use" and their airworthiness is not controlled by the FAA.

Are you talking about the Federal Govt or local?

I should have put the word "Federal" in that sentence. The airworthiness of state and local government aircraft is controlled by the FAA.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:34 pm



Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 2):
We have FDLE(Florida Dept of Law Enforcement) witch mainly deals with regulations and rules concerning law enforcement, I.E. they investigate police involved shootings when requested , and provide an "outsiders" look at Police depts, check that a dept's S.O.P. is following FL law and so on.

That is true, but they do other things as well. My girlfriends father is an FDLE homocide investigator. We currently have an outstanding serial killer somewhere in the Daytona Beach area, and he is the lead investigator on it. He's also done drug bust/stings in Miami back in the 80's. He's also been tasked with protecting the governor at various times. I don't know exaclty what their mission status is, but those operations just listed are straight from the horses mouth as they say.

As far as jurisdiction goes, this is the easy way to put it in my mind. Here in Florida we have the State level agencies, such as the FDLE, Fish & Wildlife and DOT (Dept. of Transportation) and Florida Marine Patrol. They have state wide jurisdiction. On the county level you have the Sheriffs office and on the local level the Police Dept. A state trooper has the power of arrest anywhere in the state, the sheriff only in his county and the police only in their city.

Here in Volusia we have 3 Bell 407's, which are used for finding eluding suspects in aid of ground units, law enforcement support of events, and also flies a lot of trauma victims to the almost next door Halifax hospital.
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L-188
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:32 pm



Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 7):
Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 5):
Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
However, many (but not all) government aircraft are designated as "public use" and their airworthiness is not controlled by the FAA.

Are you talking about the Federal Govt or local?

I should have put the word "Federal" in that sentence. The airworthiness of state and local government aircraft is controlled by the FAA.

It is also the reason a lot of the odder L series aircraft ended up working for the USFS up here.

I thin however you might not be correct on "Public" aircraft not including state and local government aircraft. I know some of the tribes up here where a number of years ago trying to set up their own villiage supply aircraft with AN-2's claiming because they where owned by either their village or the tribe they fell under the "Public" aircraft clause.

Also I think that if an airplane is on government charter for 30 days or more it can be put under the "Public" aircraft airworthyness rules. The caveat is that the airplane can only be used for government work.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:55 am



Quoting Jackonicko (Thread starter):
At State level there may be State Troopers and/or State Police, and even Highway Patrols. What’s the difference? Then you have County Police and/or Sheriff’s Departments. Again, what’s the difference? All can have aircraft, but there is a vast difference in size – with some units having a single helicopter, and others operating multiple examples of several types. Hours flown differ markedly – Delaware flying 350 hours annually, Virginia more than 3,800.

These units perform a wide variety of functions, including SAR and EMS, as well as more traditional ‘Police Support’ duties. Increasingly, units are flying Homeland Security missions.

The difference between State Police and Highway patrol is:

State Police: Handle crimes and do investigations throughout the state. This is most common in more rural states.

Highway Patrols: confine themselves to traffic violations on their states freeways and interstate systems and handle accident investigations only. Vary Rarely do you see them off the freeways or interstates. This is more common in more populated states where there are more city and county police agencies to handle the criminal investigations.

Same goes with the fedreal agencies they all have their seperate task's combined all into one nothing would get accomplished the agencies would be to large to operate efficently..Example our federal goverment..
 
bhmbaglock
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:01 pm



Quoting Jackonicko (Thread starter):
At State level there may be State Troopers and/or State Police, and even Highway Patrols. What’s the difference? Then you have County Police and/or Sheriff’s Departments. Again, what’s the difference? All can have aircraft, but there is a vast difference in size – with some units having a single helicopter, and others operating multiple examples of several types.



Quoting Jackonicko (Thread starter):
Hours flown differ markedly – Delaware flying 350 hours annually, Virginia more than 3,800

Remember that the geography/topography of our states vary widely, DE for example is much smaller than many counties in other states so DE vs VA isn't a particularly good comparison as VA is a large and spread out state. Another big variation is whether or not the state's climate is suitable for marijuana growing. These states tend to get a fair amount of funding for aviation from the feds and fly a lot of hours aimed at eradication.

Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 2):
But I have heard in other states the Sheriff is just the Jailer for the county.

In a lot of states, this varies depending on the individual county, i.e. in a rural county you'll see a lot more actual law enforcement duties for the Sheriff's dept. whereas in a urban area they'll typically run the jail and serve warrants.

Quoting Buss61 (Reply 3):
In AL the Air Ambulance is carried out buy a private componay known as Alabama LifeSaver, which is further owned by Omni Flight Helicopters. The operate out Birmingham/UAB Hospital, Gadsden Municipal airport, and Auburn.

There are other companies serving the extreme north and south of the state as well. OmniFlight has also added a Sylacauga based helicopter and another BHM based one that is specially modified for children only and exclusively contracted to Children's Hospital here.
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buss61
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:27 pm

RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:52 pm



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 11):
There are other companies serving the extreme north and south of the state as well. OmniFlight has also added a Sylacauga based helicopter and another BHM based one that is specially modified for children only and exclusively contracted to Children's Hospital here.

yeah the crews that used work in Anniston are now split between Sylacauga and Gadsden. I work at Cleburne County EMS and we rely on Lifesaver a good bit because were so far away from a hospital. I figured that we wouldnt be able to use them as much since they werent in Anniston but I really hadnt noticed a difference. I just miss seeing the bird sitting on top of the hospital I guess.
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sprout5199
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RE: US Police And Parapublic Aviation And Homeland Sec

Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:10 pm



Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 8):
Fish & Wildlife and DOT (Dept. of Transportation) and Florida Marine Patrol.

Fish & Wildlife have combined with Marine Patrol.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 9):
Also I think that if an airplane is on government charter for 30 days or more it can be put under the "Public" aircraft airworthyness rules. The caveat is that the airplane can only be used for government work.

I know that FHP has a few "L" series Helicopters they got from the national guard, however they can't take passengers at any time due to the helos not being civil certified.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 8):
Here in Volusia we have 3 Bell 407's, which are used for finding eluding suspects in aid of ground units, law enforcement support of events, and also flies a lot of trauma victims to the almost next door Halifax hospital.

We have two 407's, and just bought a C-182, WPBPD has a Schweitzer and the Health Care district has two S-76's.


Dan in Jupiter

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