Orlando was the site of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) 43rd Annual Convention and Exposition, which ran from July 17 through 19. Co-hosted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and held at the Orange County Convention Center, the event drew people from across North America for training, networking, exhibitions and social events specially tailored for federal, state and local public safety aviation professionals.
|This Prince George’s County (Maryland)
Police MD520N was one of six helicopters,
one helicopter mock up, and an airplane on
display at ALEA in Orlando.
A total of 1,626 attendees took advantage of more than 60 workshops, seminars, panel discussions and certification courses covering topics that included hoist rescues, helicopter pursuit tactics, and aviation unit budgeting. Several of the more concentrated educational courses began two days before the official opening of the convention.
AgustaWestland, Bell, Enstrom, Eurocopter, MD, Metro Aviation and United Rotorcraft brought a total of eight helicopters and one mock-up to display in the 90,000-square-foot exhibition hall.
Attendees could speak to sales and technical representatives from those manufacturers, as well as those from an additional 200 companies displaying their police aviation products and services.
|Cockpit of an Enstrom 280FX at ALEA.|
This year, members of the organization were also treated to a presentation on the history of the ALEA from Don Bachali, himself a long-time member and airborne law enforcement pioneer. The 90-minute session included vintage photographs and documents from the group’s early days, as well as a chance to meet retired Capt. Jack Brady, the Kansas City Police pilot credited with forming the organization in 1968.
Kurt Frisz, ALEA president, declared the 2013 event to be a “fantastic conference. Our classes were full, and we had an outstanding curriculum.”
|Fairfax County Bell 429 at ALEA.|
ALEA’s next national conference and exposition will be held July 16-19, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz.