The following photos are from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff in California.
Contra Costa County is located in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, with approximately 1.15 million residents. The county includes 505 square miles of urban, suburban and rural landscape and 82 square miles of waterways. The sheriff’s office of about 1,100 employees, including 700 sworn officers, provides law enforcement services to a population of 164,000 in unincorporated areas and contract police services for three incorporated cities.
The Office of the Sheriff Marine Patrol and Air Support Units falls under the Special Operations Division.
This photo shows our Air Support Unit, established in 1997. The Sheriff’s Office currently operates two helicopters, STARR 1 and STARR 3. STARR stands for Sheriff’s Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance and Rescue. STARR helicopters support patrol operations, search and rescue missions and security patrols over critical infrastructure. The helicopters are stored at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, CA. (Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office)
This photo shows Sergeant Brian Fitzgerald, an Air Support Unit supervisor, flying over Contra Costa County in the afternoon. The helicopters are equipped with FLIR, NightSun spotlights, GPS motion mapping systems, digital downlink systems for live streaming real-time video, night vision capabilities and rescue equipment for short-haul flights. (Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office)
This photo shows a joint training session with the Marine Patrol Unit and the small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) team near the Antioch Bridge. Participation on the sUAS team is a security assignment for deputy sheriffs. The joint training between the Marine Patrol and sUAS operators highlights one of the many ways the drones are helping law enforcement operations with searches for missing sailors. (Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office)
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