Aviation Units Honored at Pig Pickin' Banquet
Airborne Heroes Honored at Annual Event
Houston, TX — FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) was proud to present the 2008 Vision Awards to heroes of ALEA from around the country at the 13th annual Pig Pickin’ barbeque, Thursday evening in Houston. The San Diego Police Air Support Unit won First Place, Second Place went to the Albuquerque Police Department’s Air Support Unit, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Aviation Unit received the Third Place award.
FLIR Systems sponsors the Vision Awards each year, and awards the prizes at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. The Vision Awards recognize state and local law enforcement agencies for their contributions to public safety through the outstanding use of tactical airborne thermal imagery. Vision Award winners were selected from videos submitted by agencies throughout the year, and receive leather flight jackets, a commemorative plaque, and a donation to the charitable organization of their choice.
First Place was awarded to the San Diego Police Air Support Unit, Pilot Josh Burkhardt and Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) Kevin Means. This winning entry demonstrated exceptional tactical use of airborne thermal imaging during a complex pursuit including a vehicle chase in which the suspect car’s speed topped 125 miles per hour, and the apprehension of four suspects on foot in a crowded parking lot.
Second Place went to the Albuquerque Police Department’s Air Support Unit, officers John Skinner (Pilot) and Nick Pearson (TFO). Skinner and Pearson deployed their thermal imager expertly, battling 30-knot winds throughout an extensive vehicle and foot pursuit. After ditching his vehicle, the suspect ran through residential neighborhoods and into a commercial area where he tried to hide in a large storage facility. Skinner and Pearson then used their FLIR camera to maintain visual contact with the suspect while guiding ground units into effective perimeter positions. While ground units tightened the noose around the suspect, he moved from one hiding spot to another in an effort to evade capture, but Skinner and Pearson were able to guide the K9 search team effectively, so that they could take the suspect into custody.
The Third Place went to Texas Department of Public Safety Aviation Unit Pilot Sergeant Keith Welch and TFO Officer Clay Lacey. While searching for suspects who had tried to steal an ATM machine, Welch and Lacey spotted a suspicious heat source coming from a shed behind a house. They directed ground units to the shed, and the officer found the suspect hidden inside. The suspect ran from the ground officer, cutting through the neighborhood’s alleys and backyards. Operating out of Garland, TX, Welch and Lacey quickly guided units from Mesquite PD to intercept the suspect, and they took him into custody.
FLIR salutes all those who serve & protect within the Airborne Law Enforcement community, and will continue to support them with the highest quality products and services.
About FLIR Systems
FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for a wide variety of imaging and thermography applications including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, navigation, border patrol, industrial security, condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, and building diagnostics. FLIR Systems is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with service and manufacturing facilities worldwide. Visit the company's web site at www.FLIR.com.