Police shootings from the air have happened in Orange County, and lead to changes

Cops shootings from helicopters, like exactly what took place Friday when San Bernardino deputies opened fire during a highway chase, are uncommon but not unusual in Orange Region.

In June 2004, a sniper drizzled bullets on a remote Baker Canyon recycling plant near Silverado. That touched off a four-hour gunbattle with sheriff’s replacements as well as SWAT group participants who returned fire from ridgetops, from behind trees and also from the air.

2 deputies were wounded– a patrol officer and a helicopter pilot which proceeded flying an hour after he was fired.

The physical violence ended up when a Sheriff’s Department SWAT officer aboard a helicopter shot and also eliminated the sniper, identified as 52-year-old Henry Lee Brown of San Antonio.

The Baker Canyon case was one of the initial officer-involved capturings in the country from the air, Sheriff’s Division SWAT group leader Lt. Joe Balicki said.

As an outcome of the occurrence, the Orange Region Sheriff’s Division trains its SWAT policemans six times a year to shoot from helicopters.

The training includes shooting from various air speeds, angles and also altitudes. SWAT policemans also engage in firing right into various vehicles, moving and also fixed, as well as using night-vision devices.

Balicki secured a $270,000 government grant in 2011 to buy airborne platforms for the Constable’s Department, as well as the Anaheim and also Huntington Beach police departments, that place on the skids of their helicopters.

Anaheim and Huntington Coastline cops utilize the platforms to set up SWAT workers, however not as a perch for snipers, he claimed.

Balicki said the most significant obstacles of capturing from a helicopter involve reducing the threat to the snipers as well as aviators, as well as individuals on the ground.

“You don’t want to enter a capturing where you have onlookers,” he stated. “The background is extremely important. A bunch of it is functioning closely with the pilot to identify where a danger is as well as the most safe strategy to it. Remaining in a helicopter provides you an advantage as it relates to exposure as well as ability to move.”

Snipers aboard helicopters work in offering assistance to authorities ground systems and situating suspects in rugged surface, he stated.

Sheriff’s Department snipers usually make use of Colt M4 assault rifles and also fire from concerning 100 feet above the ground, and can strike a moving, balloon-sized target 100 yards away, Balicki said.

The Sheriff’s Division most recently deployed SWAT officers on helicopter systems last year while aiding Tustin police looking for an officer-involved capturing suspect at an apartment building. SWAT officers did not fire at the suspect, who was nabbed by policemans on the ground.

The Sheriff’s Division plan on the dangerous use of pressure coincides from the air as on the ground and also is applied when replacements are confronted with guarding themselves or securing others, Balicki said.

Call the writer: 714-796-7767, sschwebke@ocregister.com!.?.! or on Twitter: @thechalkoutline

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