Sheriff Ivey Answers Bogus Portrayal of BCSO Aviation Unit

By  //  September 12, 2014

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BCSO Aviation Unit RECOGNIZED nationally

ABOVE VIDEO: The pursuit of the then suspected killers of Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Pill on March 6, 2012. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit is known nationally among airborne law enforcement units as a progressive unit with exceptional abilities to locate and apprehend criminals.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Several weeks ago a “want to be journalist” who runs a blog site wrote about our Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit allegedly purchasing eight Apache helicopters.

bcso-aviation-250-2

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has been recognized in several stories for the incredible operational cost savings, to include the actual cost to the taxpayers, $500 per helicopter. (BCSO image)

There is not one shred of truth in anything the blogger stated as we don’t have any Apache helicopters, nor would we want to.

The good news is that the blogger’s agenda driven untruthfulness gives me a great opportunity to brag about your Aviation Unit, its incredible members and their many outstanding lifesaving accomplishments.

The actual truth about the Aviation Unit is that we operate one of the most cost efficient Aviation Units imaginable and we save lives using extremely antiquated helicopters.

For the record, our actual Operational Fleet inventory is as follows:

(4) OH 58 A helicopters

• Star One manufactured 1971, purchased for $500 in 1996
• Star Two manufactured 1972, purchased for $500 in 1996
• Star Three manufactured 1973, purchased for $500 in 1996
• Star Four manufactured 1968, purchased for $500 in 1996

(1) UH1H (Huey) helicopter manufactured 1973, purchased for $2,000.00 in 2013

SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY said: "Utilizing STAR 4 that is equipped with pontoons, Chief Coppola landed the helicopter in the water near the victims and Deputy Storey pulled the two juvenile victims out of the water and into the safety of the helicopter. Chief Coppola flew the two juveniles to a landing area where responding deputies were waiting.  STAR 4 then returned to the wreckage area and landed again to rescue the last victim." (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit provides services for every local, state and federal agency in Brevard. These are true assets to our citizens and communities that have been built and rebuilt over the past 18 years with parts and pieces of history by our committed employees. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

As some of you are aware, there are disreputable bloggers or posters who masquerade as journalists and report false or misleading information hoping that readers will fail to verify the information. Unfortunately, it appears some have fallen prey to this tactic and made a decision to spread the untruth even further by posting Facebook messages and comments without verifying the facts for themselves.

In this particular case, the document listing the eight Apache helicopters identified the county the Apaches are maintained in, rather than the agency who actually maintains that property on its inventory. In our case, we have several federal agencies and military facilities located within our county.

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Those who posted the information incorrectly assumed that since it is in Brevard County, it must belong to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. In fact, they refer to us as the “Brevard County Police Department” in their blog, which clearly demonstrates that they didn’t have any factual information and know nothing of our agency.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is an active participant in the Law Enforcement 1033 Program and proudly operates several helicopters received through this program.

With the exception of one Huey Helicopter acquired last year, our four OH 58 A helicopters were obtained in 1996 and are all old aircraft that were manufactured and used in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that now effectively and efficiently serve the citizens of Brevard with Search and Rescue operations.

A number of Brevard County Sheriff's Aviation Unit helicopters in the hangar at Merritt Island Airport stand ready for flight to patrol the skies over the Space Coast. (Image by John M. Egan)

A number of Brevard County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit helicopters in the hangar at Merritt Island Airport stand ready for flight to patrol the skies over the Space Coast. (Image by John M. Egan)

The Huey is a heavy lift equipped with a bucket for firefighting response and one of the OH58’s is equipped to land on water (floats) for water/swamp rescue recoveries. I know this will not come as a shock to the original blogger, but our agency does not have any Apache gunships.

Please feel free to research the many reputable media stories based on our search and rescue success missions, which resulted in lives being saved. Additionally, our agency has been recognized in several stories for the incredible operational cost savings, to include the actual cost to the taxpayers, $500 per helicopter (OH58 A).

That is correct, $500 per aircraft. Each of our aircraft has history, several still display the bullet holes from the Vietnam era, one of which was shot down twice during recovery missions.

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The Huey, which was acquired last year, was obtained and equipped for a partnership with Brevard County’s Fire Rescue, Brevard County’s Mosquito Control and the Department of Forestry, all of which is documented with media stories on line relating to the cost savings for our citizens.

Our Aviation Unit provides services for every local, state and federal agency in Brevard. These are true assets to our citizens and communities that have been built and rebuilt over the past 18 years with parts and pieces of history by our committed employees.

The proud men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office do an incredible job and are tremendously supported by our wonderful community. Your Aviation Unit is one of the finest and is more than willing to demonstrate the aircraft, resources and abilities at any time.

The proud men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office do an incredible job and are tremendously supported by the community. (BCSO image)

The proud men and women of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office do an incredible job and are tremendously supported by our wonderful community. Your Aviation Unit is one of the finest and is more than willing to demonstrate the aircraft, resources and abilities at any time.

Most who know of our agency know of our transparency. As a Constitutional Sheriff I not only encourage, but applaud those who care about the safety of their community to research concerns. I am so proud of this Agency and the partnership we share with our community.

Your Aviation Unit is just another example of what can be accomplished through innovation, hard work, dedication and the commitment to the protection of our citizens.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information on this resource or any others that our agency provides.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.

That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.

Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.

Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.


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