TCSO adds aerial sup­port

Porterville Recorder - - OPINION -

We are pleased to see that the Tu­lare County Sher­iff’s De­part­ment is once again fly­ing high.

Wed­nes­day’s un­veil­ing of the two new air­planes and sev­eral Un­manned Aerial Ve­hi­cle, or drones, gives the de­part­ment more tools to use in its ef­forts to com­bat crime.

And Porter­ville con­tin­ues to ben­e­fit as the de­part­ment is also mak­ing the Porter­ville Mu­nic­i­pal Air­port home base for its Avi­a­tion Sup­port Unit.

Tu­lare County Su­per­vi­sor Mike En­nis was ex­actly right when he said Tu­lare County Sher­iff Mike Boudreaux con­tin­ues to make the de­part­ment one of the best in the state.

In­sur­ance money from a plane crash in Fe­bru­ary of 2016 and op­er­a­tional bud­get sav­ings al­lowed for the county to pur­chase two planes — Cessna 182 which seats four and a Cessna 206 which seats six.

In Fe­bru­ary of 2016, TCSO suf­fered the crash of the de­part­ment’s light sport air­craft Sher­iff One and the loss of Sher­iff’s Pi­lot James Chavez and Tac­ti­cal Flight Of­fi­cer Scott Bal­lan­tyne.

The Cessna 182 will be the TCSO’S pa­trol-based plane and the Sher­iff’s eyes in the sky, as­sist­ing deputies and other law en­force­ment agen­cies on the ground us­ing high-tech sur­veil­lance equip­ment and cam­eras.

The Cessna 206 will be TCSO’S util­ity-based plane, tak­ing an im­por­tant role in sup­ple­ment­ing search and res­cue mis­sions, clan­des­tine mar­i­juana de­tec­tion op­er­a­tions through­out the county, in­mate trans­porta­tion and high-pro­file in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

With the new drones, the Sher­iff’s Of­fice now has a UAV and Deputy Op­er­a­tor as­signed to ev­ery sub­sta­tion in the county.

Fol­low­ing the plane crash, Boudreaux vowed the de­part­ment would re­turn to the skies stronger than ever. It ap­pears he was right.

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