Helicopters give police pursuing a suspect an eye in the sky. Once the aircraft is overhead, it’s almost impossible for the fleeing vehicle to get away, writes PoliceOne columnist Kenneth Solosky.
When a helicopter (or perhaps a drone) becomes involved in a pursuit, ground units can fall back and loosely follow the wanted vehicle, improving the safety of both police officers and the general public.
Pilots and officers on board can keep tabs on feeling suspects and give officers on the ground vital information about where to find the suspect, whether he or she is armed and in what direction he or she is headed. Ground units can then take a backup role and position to move in for apprehension when the wanted vehicle stops or is parked.
“If it’s possible to call for air support, do so,” advises PoliceOne columnist Jason Hoschouer. “The eye in the sky can pursue at a much safer distance with a much better field of view than units on the ground.”
Check out how helicopters assist police in pursuit in these five videos:
1. Houston police pursue a burglary suspect into a field with an SUV and a helicopter.
2. A police helicopter in Brazil corners a fleeing suspect to help responding units on the ground.
3. Seattle police pursue a stolen car with cruisers, a helicopter using thermal imaging and on foot.
4. A police helicopter in Nebraska tracks a fleeing suspect and provides key situational awareness to responding officers.
5. Gangsters in Belgium open fire on a police helicopter giving chase.