The Maryland State Police Aviation Command is a
public safety organization. Its mission is to protect and
improve the quality of life through the airborne
delivery of emergency medical transportation, law
enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security
and disaster assessment services to citizens of the
State of Maryland and its neighbors 24 hours a day.
"...the Maryland State Police changed the face of
Emergency Medical Services in this country
when we completed the first civilian Medevac in
the country in 1970."
~ Major James Hock
LAPD Air Support Division - The Los Angeles
Police Department’s airborne law enforcement
program began with one helicopter in 1956. Today,
the Air Support Division (ASD) is the largest
municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the
world, and boasts the nation’s largest rooftop
When I began my police career in 1971, Baltimore
had followed the lead of the Maryland State Police in
police aviation.  The Baltimore aviation unit
consisted of five helicopters dedicated to the
support of police ground units.  At least one ship
was in the air 24 hours a day.  When you needed
the helicopter, its response time was usually under
two minutes.

The Vietnam War had produced huge numbers of
expert helicopter pilots, and there was never a
shortage of police officers competing for the
assignment of Ariel Observer.  Not a lot has
changed for the missions of police aviation in the
past four decades, but a lot has changed when it
comes to the numbers of aviation units in
existence, and the technological advancement of the
those flying machines. Gone are the days when the
only hi-tech gadgets the helicopter carried were its
radio and spotlight.  Today's police helicopters can
be equipped with a wide array of surveillance and
communications equipment to include infrared
sensor devices and color TV cameras.
Maryland State Police Aviation Command
"Police aviation comes at a high financial
cost, but no one can deny the benefits
from its existence." ~ Barry M. Baker
Police aviation comes at a high financial cost, but no
one can deny the benefits from its existence.  The
only complaint you'll ever hear from a police officer
is when the helicopter may not be immediately
available.  When it comes to Medevac operations,
tens of thousands already owe their lives to the
police helicopter.

If you join a police department with an aviation unit,
you'll soon appreciate its existence.  Even if your
police department doesn't have a helicopter, your
department may well have an agreement for an air
response from a neighboring jurisdiction that
maintains an aviation unit.  

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Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker