The Jackson County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit currently operates two Bell OH-58 A/C helicopters, which were acquired from the Department of Defense military surplus program and placed in service in January 1996. Through this program and other surplus programs, the Aviation Unit has been able to operate at a tremendous reduced cost to the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of jackson County. The Sheriff's Office also currently operates a recently acquired Cessna 172 to be used for surveillance, transport and other investigative purposes. The use of these helicopters and other aircraft has been an asset to our department and community in combating drugs, as well as person and property crimes.

   The Bell OH-58's are primarily used to support our Drug task Force Unit with the Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program, but also provides support to the Patrol Division by conducting searches for missing persons, overdue boaters, missing Alzheimers patients, late or lost hunters/campers, serving warrants, and vehicle pursuits. The Aviation Unit also provides day and night surveillance, gathers tactical informatiom, aerial photography and information at the scene of emergency situations, and enhances officer safety. The Aviation Unit also provides assistance to other law enforcement agencies in this county as well as several surronding counties and bordering states.

   We hope to acquire newer technology to add to our aircraft, such as a Foward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera system and night vision equipment to enhance our capabilities of assisting our agency, other law enforcement agencies, and our citizens.

For more information about the aviation
division contact

   Stephen Smith.

Stephen Smith
Chief Pilot

Robert Wiggins

Sgt. Kevin Arnold

Rob Sims
Auxillary Pilot

Chris Bush
Auxillary Pilot

Dan Basford
Auxillary Pilot