The Aviation Unit consists of one (1) pilot and one (1) tactical flight officer. These deputies spend countless hours training both day and night to help keep the citizens and visitors of Walton County safe. Utilizing an upgraded Army OH-58 helicopter, the unit missions include: aerial support, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fugitive apprehension, domestic marijuana eradication and disaster/emergency management assessments.
The helicopter is currently outfitted with the latest in thermal imaging technology, GPS, and moving map systems. Equipped with a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) system, the aircraft is able to detect the slightest heat signatures while conducting aerial searches from higher, safer altitudes. The aircraft is furnished with a 15-inch touch screen flat panel monitor, a six-inch flat panel monitor, night sun spotlight, Avelex moving map system, and Garmin GPS system, allowing the pilot and tactical flight officer to safely complete missions.
The Aviation Unit is not a full-time active unit and is on a call-out only basis. These deputies are assigned to other specialty units within the Walton County Sheriff's Office. It is because of their commitment, dedication, and diligence that make the Aviation Unit an essential and integral part of this agency and to the citizens of Walton County.
The Aviation Unit flew over 47
mission hours in 2013 to include fugitive apprehension, training exercises, domestic marijuana eradication, and other calls for service.
Total missions for year 2013: 28
2013 Aviation Unit Highlights:
- Search and Rescue 3 flights
- Maintenance 3
- Static Display/Public Relations 7 flights
- Marijuana Eradication 6 flights
- Other Agency Assists 4 flights
- Suspect searches 3 flights
- Storm Prep 2 incidents