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Edmonton Police Pilots?


Bif

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Hello all,

 

I wonder if there are any members on the site who are serving, or have served, with the Edmonton Police Services - Air operations unit, either as a pilot, co-pilot, or Tactical Flight Officer?

It is my understanding that pilots for the unit are sworn members of the EPS, and that tactical flight officers require 8 years of regular service to apply. However, I am unclear of the prerequisites for pilots in the unit (beyond the obvious commercial license, and probably night rating).

If anyone has more info on how to get involved, please PM me. It would be much appreciated, thanks!

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Hello all,

 

I wonder if there are any members on the site who are serving, or have served, with the Edmonton Police Services - Air operations unit, either as a pilot, co-pilot, or Tactical Flight Officer?

It is my understanding that pilots for the unit are sworn members of the EPS, and that tactical flight officers require 8 years of regular service to apply. However, I am unclear of the prerequisites for pilots in the unit (beyond the obvious commercial license, and probably night rating).

If anyone has more info on how to get involved, please PM me. It would be much appreciated, thanks!

 

Why don't you look in the Vertical Operator's Directory and phone EPS Air Support Divison yourself. You will get the No BS version, Vern Zelent, their CP has been there for years, and he can tell you what you need to know without beating around the bush!

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Hello Bif;

 

I worked for the Edmonton Police Service as a sworn Police officer for 13 years...4 years in General Patrol and 9 years in the AIR1 EC120B Police Helicopter Program. Prior to joining the Edmonton Police Service in 1997...I flew choppers with Okanagan / Canadian Helicopters for 10 years...starting there with 100 hours along with 17 other 100 hour pilots in 1988. I have been with the Winnipeg Police Service since last September as the Chief Helicopter Pilot, however, I am a civilian member here.

 

The EPS Helicopter Pilot program has evolved over the years...those of us who were involved from day one in August 2001...were either already Commercial helicopter pilots, like myself, 2 other EPS members completed 'Commercial Rotary Add On' ratings at their own expense and one had a fresh Military Rotary rating. The three drivers listed above all had extensive fixed wing experience, which was an added benefit in the urban airborne police environment. I was able to mentor all 3 pilots with the chopper flying on the EC120B and we all learned the Airborne Law Enforcement together.

 

Currently, EPS Helicopter Pilots are taken from EPS members with Fixed Wing experience and provided with a Commercial 'Add On' Rotary Rating. The Candidates will then fly with experienced Police Officer Pilots / with the TFO operating from the back seat / until they have around 250 hours Helicopter time...this is the same number used by the LAPD Air Support Unit that has been operating Police Helicopters since 1948. At 250 hours the Candidates will undergo EC120B Day and Night Recurrent Training at Canadian Helicopters School in Penticton, BC. The pilots are then ready for unrestricted Police flying duties in Edmonton and surrounding areas. The EPS has also been fortunate to have very experienced helicopter pilots with 3,000 to 5,000 hours join the EPS to be Sworn Police Officers...and these members will be rotated into the AIR1 Program as operational needs arise.

 

All EPS Helicopter pilots are Commercially rated with Night ratings and most have FW IFR and some have RW IFR as well, however, the IFR Ratings are not required for Night VFR work.

 

Typically, the EPS Helicopter pilots and TFO's must have 3 to 5 years of service prior to applying for any postings in the AIR1 Unit, however, this can be amended should an operational need exist.

 

An important note on the TFO side is the success rate to be a Tactical Flight Officer is about 2 or 3 out of 40 or 50 applicants. LAPD continually runs classes of 50 TFO Candidates to get 2 or 3 TFO's. This TFO success ratio has been the experience of the EPS for 10 years now.

 

I hope this answers some of your questions.

 

Sincerely...Vern.

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Thanks so much for the info, Vern. I've also been in email correspondence with a Sgt who is a pilot for the unit. It sounds like a pretty great place to work, and law enforcement has always appealed to me as well. It does seem like there's a bit of a waiting list within the force, probably consisting of members who have more flight experience than I do at the moment.

 

But, always somethig to keep in mind.

 

Cheers!

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Bif;

 

Glad I could help...keep it in mind...there may be other opportunities, once you have a little more chopper experience, around Canada since the other agencies like Calgary, York, Durham, Winnipeg and the RCMP all use civilian pilots...and for those agencies it is definately a bonus if the pilot is actually interested in Law Enforcement. I think York uses National Helicopters with drivers that have around 500 hours and the other agencies require 3,000 hours.

 

Good luck...

 

Sincerely...Vern.

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