Funny..... I had an interview yesterday and one of my questions was "What are one of the challenges you see in running an LE air unit." I responded.... "Pilots with type A personalities meshed with cops who are type A personalities working with managers who have no real interest in aviation."
It all comes down to the individual units. Some can do it right and some cant. The only difference with LE air units who cant vs civilian operators who cant, is that civilian operators just eventually go out of business. In actuality, most LE air units perform to the level that the command staff needs them to.
Really the whole sworn vs civilian argument is irrelevant. The agency I was with trains their own pilots from the sworn TFOs..... and has been doing it for 15+ yrs. And the mission covers everything from SAR, NVG, mountains up to 13K.. long lining, patrol and remote ops. Then a neighboring agency tasked with nothing but local flat land city patrol has pilots who wont fly past the city limits because its dark and they don't have NVGs. But then again... nothing in their mission requires them to fly outside the city limits. They are paid to work patrol ops in the city that pays the bills.
Its really a discussion that can go back and forth all day. I started as a cop who became an LE pilot... and now Im a civilian pilot who was a cop... so go figure.
Edited by Flying Pig, 30 October 2014 - 11:11.