TCSO adds aerial support
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.