How the Mesa Police Department uses aircraft in law enforcement will be the topic of a presentation to the Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) gathering Monday, March 16 at the Sun Lakes Country Club Mirror Room. The event begins with coffee and camaraderie at 6:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
David Dolenar, a Mesa Police helicopter pilot, will describe how the department’s aviation unit grew from a single fixed-wing aircraft in 1986 to its current inventory of three McDonald-Douglas turbine helicopters plus a Cessna P210 Centurian and a Cessna 172 Skyhawk.
Mesa police helicopters average nearly eight flight hours per day, seven days per week, and answer an average of 18 calls each day with an average response time to a scene of 54 seconds. The unit has assisted in recovering nearly $18 million in stolen property and in locating more than 600 missing persons, mostly children.
Today, the Aviation Section is based at Mesa’s Falcon Field airport and has eight full-time helicopter pilots , seven part-time tactical flight officers who are also Mesa Police officers, two mechanics and one civilian aviation administrator.
SLAC meets the third Monday November through April. The public is invited to attend all gatherings. For additional information contact Bob Walch at 895-8869 or Gary Vacin at 298-7017.