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including virtually any report of criminal activity in progress. A sampling of the types of calls the helicopter responds to includes:


burglary and robbery alarm activations, prowlers, assaults, area checks, missing persons, traffic (hit and run collisions), domestic violence, civil disor- der, search and rescue, etc. Air One is also ideal for supple- menting the City's efforts to support Homeland Security. During each shift, the helicop- ter is utilized to check likely target areas for security against possible terrorist’s threats. In addition to supporting field personnel, Air One also supports the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement's Riverside Task Force by provid- ing aerial narcotics surveil- lance. Since 1992 the task force has arrested 1287 major nar- cotic traffickers, seized $39,507,825.00 in cash, approximately 18300 kilos of cocaine, 36000 lbs. of mari- juana, 51003 lbs. of metham- phetamine, and hundreds of firearms. About 250 flight hours were spent in support of this mission in 2010.


Since 1998 Riverside Police


Pilots have participated in the annual “Cops for Kids Fly-In” at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, bringing toys, cheer and excitement to brave children battling cancer, heart ailments, disease and debilitat- ing injuries. One pilot received the Airborne Law Enforcement Association “Robert Cormier” award which recognized his leadership in founding this worthwhile cause.


The Aviation Unit has had


tremendous success maximizing value from aging helicopters. The current helicopters range in age from 2 to more than 30 years. It is a credit to RPD maintenance personnel who keep the aircraft safe and oper- ational. After 40 years of serv- ice, the unit continues to enjoy a record of safety unparalleled in the industry.


The Aviation Unit in 2010


purchased its newest helicopter and is currently in process of modernizing the remainder of the fleet. These fleet upgrades will take the Aviation Unit well into this decade before the need will arise to replace or refurbish the older aircraft. ◆


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