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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 heliport.
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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Police
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Becoming a Police Officer
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