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Sheriff's Office

Air Support - Accomplishments

The mission of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit is to provide aerial support and expertise for the organization's patrol, investigative and administrative needs.

The goal of the Air Support Unit is to enhance the safety of the community and law enforcement personnel through the strategic deployment of aircraft. The Unit strives to increase the safety of officers, as well as improve their effectiveness and efficiency through the timely use of properly equipped helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The Air Support Unit's operations manual exists to set forth rules, guidelines and expectations for the safe operation of department aircraft. Neither this document, nor even a collection of documents, can outline every conceivable event that may befall an aviator. The intent of this manual is to provide guidance for compliance with specific requirements and generally accepted aviation procedures.

This manual is supplemented by Federal, State and local regulations, and by Pinal County Sheriff's Office Orders, Directives and Procedures. Together these, along with written and verbal communications, constitute the nucleus for the safe conduct of Air Support Unit Flight Operations.

62  Patrol Assists
23  Pursuits  
Narcotic Task Force Assists 
62  West Desert Task Force Assists 
38  Other Agency Assists 
Silverbell Initiative Assists
Criminal Investigation Bureau Assists 
SWAT Assists 
Anti Smuggling Unit Assists 
16  Recovered Stolen Vehicles 
Traffic Unit Assists 
67   Suspect Apprehensions
22  Search and Rescue Missions
14,801  Pounds of Marijuana Interdiction
Scout Sites Discovered


Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Our Aviation Unit has been in existence now for one year. During that year, they have had an extremely positive impact on public safety not only for our members but for our visitors and citizens throughout Pinal County. Once they arrive on scene, they serve as a force multiplier. Now when suspects run, they don’t get away but rather just go to jail tired.”