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> Today’s experience comes from an office high in the sky above the Foothills.
The Foothill Air Support Team (FAST) is a joint helicopter patrol operation of local cities in the area.
By Foothill Air Support Team
The program was developed in 1999, after several local cities expressed an interest in airborne law enforcement. Since starting an airborne unit was very costly, these agencies chose to form a joint helicopter patrol operation enhancing their ability to deter criminal activity and apprehend offenders.
The ten partner cities that make up the program are:
- San Marino
- Sierra Madre
- South Pasadena
- and Pomona.
In order to participate in this partnership, each agency has agreed to provide a qualified and motivated police officer to perform the role of Tactical Flight Officer (TFO). Following a rigorous training schedule, the TFO works alongside a Pasadena Pilot to serve the FAST cities.
The TFO monitors radio calls within the FAST cities and makes a determination whether to respond with the police helicopter. When it is determined that an airborne response would prove beneficial, the crew responds and provides an aerial platform that provides a tremendous level of intelligence, direction, and coordination to the officers on the ground.
The FAST program has proven to be very successful, and when not responding to calls for service, the crew is constantly searching out criminal activity and/or monitoring problem locations.
Source: Foothill Air Support Team (FAST)
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