Stockton now has eyes in the sky to fight crime.
The Stockton Police Department’s first-ever helicopter, Falcon One Zero, had its first day on the job Monday. Police Chief Eric Jones says the helicopter already made a difference by averting an on-the-ground pursuit of a stolen car and aiding in the arrests of the suspects.
“Air support staff were able to observe and then report where the suspects got out of the vehicle and then were on foot, and then ground units were able to vector in and make an arrest, so it was an outstanding debut day for our helicopter, no doubt,” he said.
Jones says the helicopter is needed in a city with 350,000 people and covering 60 square miles.
“First making our community safer and also it makes the jobs of our officers safer so it’s really an outstanding new tool for Stockton that’s long deserved,” he said.
Jones says a state grant of $3 million was used to purchase the Bell 505, which is equipped with high-definition cameras, infrared detection and a LoJack recovery system for stolen vehicles.
He adds that Falcon One Zero will also help other law enforcement agencies in the county with mutual aid when needed.