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11.08.2009

Pennsylvania State Police Aviation Section




The Pennsylvania State Police entered the law enforcement aviation community by legislative decree in the fall of 1968. In 1969, two Bell Model 47 Helicopters were purchased and six pilots were assigned to the Section. Since then, the Section has grown to over thirty-five trooper pilots and three full-time mechanics, using eight helicopters and six airplanes state-wide. The helicopter fleet includes three Bell 206 Jet Rangers, two Bell 206 Long Rangers, one Bell 407, and two Agusta A119 Koalas. The airplane unit has one Cessna Grand Caravan, a Piper Navajo Chieftain, and four Cessna Stationair 206 H models.

The Aviation Section of the Pennsylvania State Police provides aerial support to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth, as well as assisting in other non-emergency situations, including major civic and sporting events. In addition to general air patrol work, the Department receives hundreds of requests for assistance annually from the 1,200 sworn law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth's sixty-seven counties.

Helicopter and airplane pilots, stationed out of seven Aviation Patrol Units across the state, log thousands of hours of flight time a year on missions including, but not limited to: conducting searches and rescues; assisting in vehicle pursuits; conducting criminal surveillances; participating in marijuana eradication efforts; crime and traffic incident scene photography; transports; conducting Emergency Management and Homeland Security missions providing an aerial platform for incident command and control; and attending events promoting law enforcement efforts.

The current Director of the Aviation and Special Services Division within the Pennsylvania State Police is Captain Todd B. Johnson. Captain Johnson is a twenty-five year veteran of the force. With over a decade of service within the Aviation Section, Captain Johnson served as both an airplane and helicopter pilot, and was selected as assistant Training and Safety officer, as well as supervising an Aviation Patrol Unit.

Questions regarding Pennsylvania State Police Aviation can be directed to the Aviation Section Commander, Lieutenant Myra Taylor via email at mytaylor@state.pa.us or via United States Mail at Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations, 171 East Hershey Park Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.

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