Public Service

California Police Unit Gets ‘Excellence’ Award Amid Fleet Reorganization

By S.L. Fuller | November 8, 2016
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The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been given an award for Excellence in Police Aviation from the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Announced by CHP last week, the award was presented in October at the IACP Convention in San Diego.

Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters

Supported by Bell Helicopter, the annual award is presented to a manager or leader in a police aviation program or unit who has shown initiative in enhancing safety operations, accident prevention programs, and the efficiency and effectiveness of aerial law enforcement. IACP says award winners could be unit-level, national-level or international-level and from fixed-wing, rotary-wing and unmanned operations.


CHP operates 30 aircraft, 15 of which are helicopters. The patrol said it is currently in the midst of rearranging its fleet, welcoming a new Airbus Helicopters H125 this week. After taking the delivery of the new aircraft, CHP will have seven Eurocopter B3s, one Eurocopter B2, one Bell 206 and six Airbus H125s. CHP said it is hoping to, over time, acquire more Airbus H125s, replacing older aircraft in the fleet. Newer CHP aircraft are specifically designed with the latest hoists, sensor systems, enhanced vision systems and avionics technologies.

Working jointly with first responders across the state, CHP aircraft are designed for multi-role operations. This includes search and rescue, advanced life support and law enforcement. In July of this year, the Public Safety Aviation Accreditation Commission accredited the CHP Air Operations Program, making it the largest law enforcement aviation program to be accredited at the time. 

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