RENO — Washoe County Sheriff’s Office’s RAVEN Aviation Unit will host more than 1,000 national law enforcement pilots, tactical flight officers and service providers during the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s 41st Annual Conference and Exposition from July 11-13 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
The conference’s economic impact region is expected to be considerable, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities from the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority estimate the ALEA Conference and Exposition will draw more than $2.6 million dollars to the area.
The Airborne Law Enforcement Association was founded in 1968 to “support, promote and advance the safe and effective utilization of aircraft by governmental agencies in support of public safety missions through training, networking, advocacy and educational programs.”
The association has more than 3,500 members worldwide.
ALEA’s Annual Conference and Exposition is considered the standard for excellence in airborne law enforcement.
Members and exhibitors use the conference to train, network and discuss key issues in law enforcement aviation. Conference topics include issues such as water survival, fixed-wing and night operations, helicopter rescue and aerial firefighting, legal and regulatory issues and more.
One of the most anticipated demonstrations at ALEA is the introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), a rapidly emerging technology that is now being integrated into the law enforcement aerial arsenal. UAS aircraft has great appeal to law enforcement aviation since the aircraft weighs less than 25 pounds, and can be flown autonomously at great distances from the command station.
Airborne policing allows law enforcement to cover distances faster, provides greater visual range from the sky, can cover otherwise impassible areas, and removes Deputies from dangers on the ground.
The sheriff’s office has two OH-58’s (Bell Jet Rangers) and one HH-1H (Bell Huey) refurbished using drug forfeiture money.