Equipped with six full-time pilots and 10 part-time flight officers, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit is set to render assistance to Polk County’s law enforcement needs.
The unit began back in 1972, when it started with two fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopters were added to the aviation unit in 1982. In 1995 three flyable U.S. Army surplus OH-58’s and a non-flyable OH-58 (for parts) were acquired. Currently the PCSO Aviation Unit operates one OH 58 turbine helicopter, two MD-500E's, and one Cessna 182 fixed wing aircraft.
This law enforcement aviation unit supports ground units with pursuits, surveillance, backup, and the search for suspects and missing persons. A FLIR – Forward Looking Infra-Red camera and computerized mapping are put to daily use in this endeavor.