ALEA Expo 2017 in Reno, Nevada, is set to be the last with that name. An event is slated for next year, but it is going by a different name: APSCON 2018.
Come next year ALEA’s Executive Director and CEO Daniel Schwarzbach said the association would officially change its name from Airborne Law Enforcement Assn. to Airborne Public Safety Assn. (APSA). Along with the name change, ALEA also plans to combine its efforts and resources with the Helicopter Rescue & Response Assn. (HRRA). While HRRA still wants to hold some signature events, those events would be part of APSA.
“We want to expand; we want to grow,” Schwarzbach told R&WI. “We have a lot of firefighters, a lot of search and rescue people — HRRA was one of them — that said, ‘We’d love to be members of the organization … but we’re just not policemen.’”
Schwarzbach said ALEA’s expansion is something he has been working toward for several years. Over time, he explained, law enforcement agencies have been making their air unit fleets more capable, adding Bambi Buckets and hoists to perform firefighting and search and rescue operations. This expanded the role of law enforcement, and ALEA has worked to expand along with it.
“The final step was to change the name,” Schwarzbach said.
ALEA is set to officially become APSA Jan. 1, 2018. APSCON 2018 is slated for July 9 through July 14, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky.