PPB Releases New Video on Air Support Unit (Photo)

May 16, 2024 13:07


The Portland Police Bureau is releasing a new video highlighting the work of its Air Support Unit (ASU) following the purchase of more modern airplane this past year. The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_mhsfa57cyY

ASU provides aerial support and expertise for the Police Bureau's patrol, investigative and administrative needs. In 2023, the Unit flew 1,146 hours (including simulator use). Of those hours, 754.2 hours were patrol support flights. The Unit also received 379 flight requests for 32 different units/agencies and continued to be on-scene of emergency calls for service in under two minutes (1.8). Last year, ASU responded to 1,977 calls for service and conducted 10 flight missions to assist East Precinct personnel with stolen vehicle missions.

As part of its contribution to curbing gun violence, the Air Support Unit successfully assisted in the recovery of 113 firearms during focused missions and while conducting patrol support flights.

In early 2021, the Air Support Unit began tracking incidents where ASU was involved in vehicle eludes and subsequent uses of force. In 2023, when ASU was used after a vehicle eluded a police stop and that pursuit was terminated by ground officers. Data showed there continued to be a comparatively lower rate of force used than when officers continued a pursuit in lieu of ASU support. This is a testament to the benefit of ASU and an advantage of disengagement.

The Air Support Unit currently has two planes, a 2015 Cessna 182t, which was purchased in 2023, replacing the former Air1, which was from 1978 as well as a 2003 Cessna 182t. ASU also has a Redbird flight simulator that provides training to pilots and Tactical Flight Officers.

ASU has two primary designated groups, Tactical Flight Officers (TFOs) and pilots. The Unit has one full-time PPB Sergeant who serves as Chief Pilot and ten additional members who serve in detached positions.

For more on the Air Support Unit, visit: https://www.portland.gov/police/divisions/air-support-unit

Photo description 1: A pilot flies the Bureau's plane
Photo description 2: One of the Bureau's planes



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