Given the fiscal constraints of today's law enforcement environment, many local police and sheriff agencies are unable to fully implement an aviation division due to the inherent costs to operate aircraft and pay professional law enforcement pilots. To cope with the extreme costs, some smaller police forces around the country have relied on the help of volunteer civilian pilots to augment law enforcement based aviation operations. This thesis uses recommendations of the Public Safety Aviation Accreditation Commission (PSAAC) to provide a foundational understanding on the critical aspects of running a law enforcement aviation division. By using PSAAC as the foundation, this thesis compares the aviation divisions of the following agencies: California Highway Patrol (CHP), Monterey County Aero Squadron (MCAS), and Lane County Sheriff's Office (LCSO). Comparing the all-volunteer divisions of MCAS and LCSO to the professional force of CHP yielded a list of best practices for the law enforcement aviation community.
Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense)
Naval Postgraduate School
Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense)
National Security Affairs (NSA)
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