The Long Beach Police Department Air Support Unit operates 2 Eurocopter EC130 helicopters with a crew of approximately 5 sworn police pilots. The unit operates out of the Long Beach Airport. In 2007 the Long Beach Police announced that they would be ruturning to the MD500 as their primary patrol aircraft, citing the cost to operate the larger EC130 Helicopters.
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The Mesa Arizona Police Department operates 3- MD 500E helicopters and 1- Cessna 172 Skyhawk fixed wing airplane.
The Mesa Police aviation unit dates back to 1986 when the department aquired it's first fixed wing airplane. The unit remained a fixed wing only unit until 1994 when the deparment aquired it's first two MD 500E helicopters through a lease program. Eventually the city purchased the two helicopters and in 2003 added a 3rd MD 500E helicopter.
Currently the aviation unit is staffed with 8 full time pilots all of whom are sworn Mesa Police Officers. Each pilot also fulfills the roll of the Tactical Flight Officer when not assigned as the pilot. Additionally there is a chief pilot, two part-time fixed-wing pilots, six part-time Tactical Flight Officers (all of whom are Mesa Police Officers), two mechanics, one secretary, and one sergeant assigned to the unit.
To be elligible for a transfer to the aviation unit officers must first complete 3 years as a patrol officer on the streets.
The Mesa Police Aviation Unit is based at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa Az.
Mesa is a suburb of Phoenix Arizona with an estimated population of 452,000.