Sheriff’s Office acquires helicopter

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has added the element of air to its collection of tools available to assist in search and rescue missions throughout the county.

Utilizing the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (DoD 1033), the Sheriff’s Office has acquired a 1971 206A (Civilian) OH-58 Kiowa helicopter. This program allowed the Sheriff’s Office to receive the aircraft for free, with the operational costs already in the Sheriff’s Office current budget.

News-Sheriff's office helicopter 11-27The helicopter will be piloted by Rob Wright of Beaufort County Mosquito Control and co-piloted by David Galm of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division. Missions will focus on:

Search response (in conjunction with US Coast Guard and SC Department of Natural Resources as  applicable):

• Missing/overdue boaters, swimmers

• Missing children

• Missing vulnerable adults (Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients)

• Otherwise endangered persons

• Manhunts for violent offenders (when there is high probability of success)

• Locating stolen vehicles/other outdoor criminal activity

Support response:

• Special  operations (ex: flying a bomb technician to another county for rapid support)

• Enforcement for special events requiring crowd control (ex: St. Patrick’s Day Parade).

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