California's new state budget gives the city of Stockton a new law enforcement helicopter — the first in San Joaquin County.
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said the helicopter can be used in pursuits, finding missing persons, and natural disasters such as flooding.
“If a helicopter is up over a certain neighborhood, it can actually be somewhat of a crime suppressor or a deterrent,” Jones said. “So we do plan on having it up in the air with handling calls for service for the ground unit.”
San Joaquin is one of the few counties in the state for its size and population that doesn’t have a helicopter. But with the state funding, the Stockton can now buy a helicopter and equipment perhaps before the end of the year.
Jones said he already has a pilot who is ready to train others, and that the helicopter will be available to aid other law enforcement agencies within the county.