IACP Leadership in Police Aviation Award
The IACP Leadership in Police Aviation Award recognizes public safety individuals and agencies that exemplify excellence in airborne law enforcement operations for both manned and unmanned aircraft operations in the law enforcement community
This award emphasizes initiatives that enhance general safety operations, accident prevention programs, and the efficiency and effectiveness of airborne law enforcement.
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Texas Department of Public Safety, Aircraft Operations Division
The Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) Aircraft Division provides excellent service through their top-to-bottom “safety first” approach, intensive training, state of the art equipment, constant commitment to excellence in the air, and recognition from The Texas Department of Transportation – Flight Services for superior aircraft maintenance. The TDPS utilizes dedicated training staff for the aircraft division, a chain of command that ensures transparency, best practices for training and development, and cooperation and shared knowledge between various agencies. Along with initial and annual training, each crew member is given an annual in-house check ride by a qualified and experienced training captain in both rotor and fixed wing aircraft. This allows the Aircraft Division to further the Texas Department of Public Safety’s mission - to protect and serve Texas.
Michigan State Police, Aviation Unit
The Michigan State Police Aviation Unit provides exceptional service by making it easier for officers to access aviation assets, expanding the mission set of the Aviation Unit, educating law enforcement professionals around the state, embracing new technology, and providing well-trained and properly equipped air crews for assignments. This is accomplished by using a mix of experienced schedulers, maintainers, pilots, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operators, and Tactical Flight Officers (TFO). The MSP Aviation Unit is the first police agency in the country with the capability to transmit live video images via satellite to a secure internet connection to internet enabled devices. Their UAS program was the first with a statewide Certificate of Authentication (COA), the first to gain approval to operate in Class B, C, and D Airspace, and the first to operate two flyers with ‘in air replacement’ capability. The MSP Aviation Unit’s safety record is unmatched, and they are a leader in terms of UAS mission utilization.
Senior Officer/Air Support Safety Officer
Senior Police Officer and Air Support Safety Officer Cory Frank has been a dedicated member of the Houston Police Department Air Support Unit in Texas for the past 26 years. The Air Support Division is a valued resource of the Houston Police Department, as it supports ground units in search-and-rescue and traffic control year-round. The aircraft and equipment used to complete the mission are extremely technical and require a dedicated Safety Officer to oversee the Unit’s safety practices. Officer Frank plans, implements, and coordinates safety and environmental programs in accordance with written regulations, procedures, and policies. Officer Frank has served in the Safety Officer position for the past nine years. Recently, the Air Support Unit received recognition from the Helicopter Manufacture MD for over 200,000 flight hours without any aircraft accidents. This is a direct reflection of the safety oversight and guidance provided by Officer Frank. Senior Police Officer Frank is highly respected and accomplished, with over 4,000 hours as pilot in command, and has received many accolades from his peers and supervisors.
Seminole County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office
Seminole County sits just north of Orlando, Florida and is home to a little under 450,000 residents. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Aviation Section is responsible for providing air support within the county and provides service for several other city police agencies within the service area.
In today’s operations, the agency has a mission profile that continues to diversify in what they provide the county, but mainly focuses on supporting patrol operations. The unit also offers firefighting capability and the only SWAT deployment and hoist rescue ability in the Orlando metro area. In 2016 the unit delivered 128 water drops on wildfires in and around Seminole County. Within the first six months of 2017, the unit had already been called to make 276 drops. One of these fires was in April 2017, near the Chuluota area of Seminole County where wildfires directly threatened a large housing development. Due to the water drops from the assigned unit, no homes were lost in the fire and no personnel were injured.
In 2016, the unit located 150 persons and 118 of those persons were located using the thermal camera. In two major 2017 cases, an officer involved in a shooting and a stolen vehicle crash with multiple fatalities, the aircrew’s work and camera footage were used to detail the actions of involved law enforcement units.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Section has worked to maximize efficiency, safety, and customer support since its inception. The unit members make great efforts in training and continuing education to make sure they are delivering the best possible service to the community. Unit members are motivated to find new and innovative ways to deliver the most professional public safety aviation services possible.
Today the SCSO Aviation Section prides itself in not only meeting, but setting the standard in law enforcement aviation. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office has a goal to embrace not only their efforts to provide transparency to the public, but in their air unit’s efforts to constantly look for ways to improve their safety practices and strive to find more ways to improve their operations.