The Aviation Unit provides both rotor wing (helicopter) and fixed wing (airplane) services for the Sheriff's Office and the community. The primary and most visible function of the Aviation Unit is helicopter operations. Helicopter crews work seven days a week (plus upon special activation) to support Patrol and other units as an aerial platform for surveillance, pursuits, search and rescue, drug interdiction and criminal apprehension.
The Aviation Unit is based at Craig Airport and operates seven aircrafts. Four helicopters are used for patrol operations and three fixed wing aircrafts are used for prisoner transport and investigative transport, to interview suspects arrested in other jurisdictions.
Airplane operations are geared toward regional and often short-notice prisoner transports, working with detectives to facilitate follow-up investigations involving persons held in other jurisdictions.
Before applying to the Aviation Unit, officers must serve a minimum of five years in Patrol. They must also have an private pilot's license and successfully pass the high standards of our in-house helicopter training program.
Full-time staffing is augmented by the Police Reserve Aviation Unit. These volunteers are members of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Police Reserve Unit assigned to Aviation. They receive training in aerial observation operations and act as crewmembers working with the pilots on patrol shifts. For more information about the JSO Aviation Reserve Officer program click here.