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Do you have to be a cop to fly the cop chopper

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  • Do you have to be a cop to fly the cop chopper

    I am a commercial pilot flying planes currently, but I`ve always thought it`d be cool to fly helicopters for the police. Do you need to go through the same training as police officers or do you just have to be a pilot.

  • #2
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    Last edited by BaldOldWhiteGuy; 10-21-2009, 02:43 PM.
    Lighten up Francis!

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    • #3
      thanks for the great feedback. in Ontario, Canada where I'm from; we have provincial police planes as well to catch speeders...it's pretty awesome

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      • #4
        You do for the CHP, the LAPD and LASD. I know a few agencies that hire civilians as pilots; but, the flight officer/observer is an officer. Also, most flight crews are EMT/rescue certified in my area.
        Last edited by SgtCHP; 10-17-2009, 01:24 PM.
        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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        • #5
          The Alabama Department of Public Safety has both fixed wing and rotary aircraft. All of the pilots are Troopers.

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          • #6
            Port Authority of NY & NJ have civilian helicoptor pilots.
            We ride for those who died!

            RIP SgtCHP!

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            • #7
              Ideally, the pilot is an officer. Officer first, pilot second. The aircrew has to have been there on the ground to know what patrol needs when they are handling a perimeter, search, pursuit, etc. It can work sometimes to have a nonsworn pilot, but there is no possible way to make it work properly to have an observer who has not been a patrol officer.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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              • #8
                All of our pilots our sworn officers. The observers are officers as well. The observer position seems to kind of be going away, though. I think we only have two guys now that are classified as observers, everyone is a certified pilot. One of the guys that is an "observer" is currently being trained as a pilot. The other probably will be in the next year or so.
                Anything worth shooting is worth shooting 3 or 4 times.

                M-11

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                  Ideally, the pilot is an officer. Officer first, pilot second. The aircrew has to have been there on the ground to know what patrol needs when they are handling a perimeter, search, pursuit, etc. It can work sometimes to have a nonsworn pilot, but there is no possible way to make it work properly to have an observer who has not been a patrol officer.
                  I don't know if you're actually in airborne law enforcement, but I want my pilot to be a pilot first and cop second. That's why I'm a TFO, so he can worry about getting my butt back to the airport in one piece.
                  Airborne Cops are closer to God.
                  Arms and legs are just extensions of flight controls.

                  THESE BIG RED LETTERS HELP ME FIND MY POST.

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                  • #10
                    I am in airborne law enforcement. What I was getting at is that while he is a pilot, he has to have the cop mentality. Same mission, different vehicle. I agree that flight safety always comes first, and is never compromised for any reason.
                    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would think it'd be better to be an ace pilot, and then learn the skills neccessary to spot/recognize/report on police chases so you don't have to worry about the flying part.

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                      • #12
                        Part of the requirements to be a pilot for us include being a observer/TFO for a couple of years....and to be a observer, you have to be a Deputy for several years first.

                        ALL aircrew on a law enforcement bird should be sworn. You need to know how to do the job of being a street cop before you can even think about being able to help out in the air. You need to know how to set up containments ect.
                        The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                        "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                        "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                          I am in airborne law enforcement. What I was getting at is that while he is a pilot, he has to have the cop mentality. Same mission, different vehicle. I agree that flight safety always comes first, and is never compromised for any reason.
                          roger roger
                          Airborne Cops are closer to God.
                          Arms and legs are just extensions of flight controls.

                          THESE BIG RED LETTERS HELP ME FIND MY POST.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Citation35HF
                            Yes, PILOT FIRST, officer second. I don't give a f*ck if you know the laws at 1000 ft agl, but you better know how to fly the bird. Tracking someone with the FLIR is easy, don't need to be a cop to do it. And your not going to arrest anyone up in the air. So, Pilot first, cop second.
                            Where do you want the units on the ground to deploy? A suspect just rounded the corner of a house. Where do you want the officer? Quick! Tell him! Get it wrong and he could be dead. If you haven't been on the ground as a patrol officer (and not just any patrol officer, but one of the best, especially when it comes to tactics), you have no business directing patrol officers.

                            An airborne observer does a lot more than just work the FLIR or Nightsun. He is monitoring multiple radios for activity, prioritizing calls, searching for criminal activity on the ground when on patrol (just like on patrol in a car...hmmm), acting as airborne command and control when handling a pursuit or suspect search, or responding to an in-progress incident, operating FLIR or searchlight, talking on multiple channels and more. It is said that being the observer is the toughest job in airborne law enforcement, and it is true. Saying that anyone who can track with FLIR can be an observer is like saying that anyone who can use a joystick is qualified to be a microsurgeon.

                            If you were referring to pilots, well the pilot doesn't generally operate the FLIR. He flies, but it is important that he understands what the patrol units are doing (and that comes from having been there) so he can be of maximum benefit to them.
                            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Citation35HF
                              And your not going to arrest anyone up in the air.
                              Maybe not while in the air, but I recall our guys landing in a river bed and arresting a suspect who had stolen some piece of construction equipment (big dump truck or something). They held on to him until patrol could come get the guy (which took about 20 minutes due to the area being extremely difficult to access).
                              Anything worth shooting is worth shooting 3 or 4 times.

                              M-11

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