The El Monte Police Department Air Support Unit was started in 1993 as an experimental unit that provided aerial protection for the ground officers and citizens of the community. As time passed the importance of an aerial application to law enforcement proved to be a viable asset to the Police Department. Initial services were solely provided to the City of El Monte; however, as the success of the helicopter program grew so did the importance of growth.
Supporting Local Patrol
Air Support provides services to the cities of El Monte and Baldwin Park. Both agencies have a pilot and trained observers who work together using crew resource management to assist officers on the ground. Currently the Air Support Unit operates two Robinson R-44 helicopters that are equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), searchlight, public address system, LoJack vehicle recovery system, and computerized moving map.
This unit works with our regional partners under established mutual aid agreements to ensure officers in the region have air support services in time of crisis or other critical events. Since 2006 this unit has flown thousands of hours in direct support of the patrol officer. Included in those flight hours, this unit was responsible for hundreds of arrests and the recovery of LoJack-equipped stolen vehicles.