The Lake County Sheriff’s Office began a part-time six month training program for six sheriff’s deputies to become ancillary members of AIR-ONE Emergency Response Coalition, in November.
Five of the Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies are training as Tactical Flight Officers and one Sheriff’s Deputy will act as Ground Support. Their roles will include assisting the pilot, operating infrared cameras, spot lights and other specific law enforcement equipment such as radios and tactical maps.
AIR-ONE, which began operating in 2003, was initially funded through private donations. Currently, they are funded through grants and Memorandums of Understanding with police and fire agencies. AIR-ONE operates in Northern Illinois, Stevenson County, Rockford, Winnebago County, and Lake County.
AIR-ONE launches missions to assist in locating missing subjects, over watches for high risk search warrants, vehicle pursuits, fugitive apprehension, and officer rescues.
In November AIR-ONE conducted an operational training with Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The scenario consisted of an officer down rescue over the former Lake County Fair Grounds site in Grayslake. The UH-1H Iroquois helicopter, also referred to as Huey, was used for the training scenario. The goal of the training was to provide air mobility and get emergency services in and out in a safe manner.
Since the training began, AIR-ONE has located a suicidal subject in Lake Villa.
“AIR-ONE is extremely excited for this huge leaping capability and looks forward to being able to provide assistance to the citizens of Lake County,” said Clark Pollard, Executive Director for AIR-ONE.
This news release was submitted by the Lake County Sheriff's Office.