The Fontana Police Air Support Unit began operation in 1996 with two Robinson R44 Raven II police helicopters. Each helicopter is equipped with a powerful searchlights, forward looking infrared (FLIR), color video camera, GPS mapping, PA / siren, computer, Lo-Jack, and radios for both communication and navigation. This police helicopter can cruise at 130 mph and carry three passengers.
The primary mission of the Fontana Police Air Support Unit is to support the patrol officer on the street. The helicopter is a very effective tool to put law enforcement on scene quickly overhead of crimes in progress. In addition to assisting patrol officers, the aircraft also provides aerial photography, an aerial platform for disaster response, aerial surveillance, and occasionally assists other agencies within the County of San Bernardino.
Every year the Air Support Unit responds to thousands of calls for service and has been first on the scene more than 90% of the time. The Air Support Unit's quick response times to these calls has resulted in the recovery of illegal drugs, stolen property, stolen cars, and the arrest of thousands of suspects over the years.
The Air Support Unit operates one 10-hour shift per day, five days per week. The Unit flies approximately 1,150 flight-hours per year.
For information regarding the Air Support Unit, please email Sergeant C. Surgent or call him at (909) 854-8051.