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Hi all, first post.  Just to let everyone know I am an active student at CSU Sacramento, with two years to go on a BS in Criminal Justice.  I already have an AA degree.  I love helos, and I'd like to fly for Law Enforcement some day.  The school I would like to attend is HAI in Concord, CA.  I am going to visit the school very soon, and I would like to know what questions I should be asking.  I know the Florida Office is FAA part 141 and I can get the financing through the Florida Office to the California school, and that the Concord School is FAA part 61.  I want to fly so bad its rediculous, the mere thought alone of actually taking my FIRST ride ever in a helicopter has got me so stoked I can barely contain myself.  My question is this:  Should I get into the flight industry and complete the training and then do the last half of my studies to complete my degree?  I have a friend in the Army who is leaving for Iraq on Saturday, and when he returns, he wishes to use his GI Bill to go to college, and by then (18 -24 months) I wish to have completed all flight training, as I do not wish to pursue a degree in aviation.  I have also considered this because If I already have the flight training ( I wish to train to CFII ) The department would find me amuch more valuable candidate when I do compete my BS.  Any thoughts on this would be great!  I also want to know how long one could expect to take to complete the flight training at HAI or a comparable part 61 school.  I have many more questions, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Thank-you all in advance for your time!

 

The Big E

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On the surface, I would say finish your degree, keep learning about helicopters and the industry, then if you still want in, do the training.

 

Your degree will do more for you in your quest to fly LE than a pilot's rating will. A large majority of departments will only hire pilots from within their ranks, and a Criminal Justice degree will get you in quicker than a pilot's certificate.

 

My 2c

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Hi Big E,

 

This is weird. I just spent some time talking to a couple brothers graduating from a Univ with a  BS in Criminal Justice yesterday. If you have not checked the ALEA web site, then do so. I also did a lot of research on this subject to make a decision for myself with training. This is what I found. Try to get as much info on the units you think you would want to work at and do a web search for their aviation dept, sometimes you get lucky and they have a lot of info listed about them in the aviation dept site. Talk to Any one working in that dept, street cops, training officer, mechanics, or preferably the pilots . Find out how much street time is required before you can transfer into the aviation dept. Some units will pay for the helicopter training. Some seem to require a PPL sel rating prior to being accepted into the unit. With a degree you can go anywhere, Border Patrol, Homeland Security, Customs,State Police, Sheriff Dept's, City Dept's, Military Branches as an Officer (Army,Navy,Marines, and Coastie) all have alot of heli's, and etc, etc..... All County and City Units seem have budget restrictions to deal with. I tried to keep this response "generalized" as possible.

 

Hope this will give you some idea's.

 

Regards.

 

ALEA

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Thanks a lot guys I really appreciate all the help.  I was considering flying for the contra costa county sheriff's dept, because HAI operates their chopper from the schools location, and I was also under the impression that the pilot is a civilin and there is a sworn peace officer aboard to handle the LE related radio traffic.  IS this true?
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Hey Big E,

 

I did a quick search to see what I could come up with about the unit you are asking about. I really couldn't find to much with what little effort I used. The unit is small, only 2 heli's, and I would think they have a mile high pile of resume's.

 

Go the their web site and email the recruiter. It's their job to answer questions and they won't get mad. If they hire civ's then they my give you a lot of info. But, I would bet they fill slots from within, but I could be wrong.

 

Good luck.

 

P.S. I forgot to mention their Reserve Officer Program. It could be a good foot in the door for you?

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Hey Big E,

 

The reserve officer is a part-time volunteer officer whom the dept will train and equip for duty. You can get some good training and learn about that unit from the inside, make some good contacts, AND be able to make a more informed decision about if airborne law enforcement is for you.

 

Regards

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