The Airborne Law Enforcement Association officially welcomed members to its 44th annual conference and exposition in Phoenix on Thursday. Immediately after the ribbon cutting, its 1,300 registered attendees were ushered into one of the Phoenix Convention Center’s huge exhibition halls, where aircraft manufactures, equipment suppliers and services providers that cater to international law enforcement aviators were waiting.
Elsewhere in the building, technical briefings provided by aircraft and engine manufacturers were conducted, while water survival training was being offered at the swimming pool of a nearby hotel. Helicopter manufacturers Airbus, AgustaWestland, Bell, Enstrom, MD and Robinson were on hand with static displays of their popular police platforms.
Robinson booth at ALEA. Photo by Ernie Stephens
Day one of the two-day event concluded with what the organization calls the “pig pickin,” a complimentary barbecue and social event held at Chase Field. Following the meal, FLIR Systems, maker of thermal imaging equipment, hosted its annual awards ceremony, where crews who made significant criminal apprehensions or recoveries of missing people over the past year were recognized.
Day two will include more technical briefings, as well as a demonstration of unmanned aerial systems designed for law enforcement applications.