New online exhibit at National Law Enforcement Museum highlights aviation in policing

The free exhibit chronicles the history, evolution and heroes of law enforcement aviation


By Police1 Staff 

WASHINGTON — Last week the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., announced the opening of its first-ever exclusively online exhibit: “Eyes to the Sky: A Century of Law Enforcement Aviation and Airborne Public Safety.” 

The exhibit is free and accessible to anyone here. “Eyes to the Sky” highlights the history and importance of planes, helicopters and drones in law enforcement, according to a press release. The exhibit will discuss how airborne units have evolved and served public safety over the last century. The exhibit will also chronicle law enforcement’s heroes in aviation. 

“‘Eyes in the Sky’ tells the rich history of law enforcement aviation from its earliest beginnings to the latest technology currently saving lives and keeping communities safe,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in a statement. “The exhibit provides a fascinating look into the efforts of law enforcement departments across the country, through ingenuity and bravery. We are proud to display this timeline of historical moments to the nation.” 

You can view the exhibit here.

New York Police Department – Women in Flight: Laura Bromwell: Having already gained fame as a daredevil after leaping from a suspension bridge, Laura Bromwell is perhaps the best example of the Aviation Division Reserves in providing support advancing promising aviators. (National Law Enforcement Museum)
Maryland State Police – Medevac Capabilities: The rapid escalation of highway fatalities in the 1960s helped make the Maryland State Police a key innovator in airborne public safety operations, seeking to reduce response times to save lives by medevac. Since 1970, the Maryland State Police has given its state’s residents unmatched access to rapid medevac capability at any time of the day or night anywhere in the state. (National Law Enforcement Museum)
U.S. Park Police – Air Florida Flight 90 Rescue: The USPP helicopter Eagle One responded to the crash of Air Florida Flight 90. During a blizzard, a Boeing 737-222 clipped the 14th Street Bridge before crashing into the icy Potomac River shortly after takeoff from Washington National Airport. The USPP Aviation Unit was responsible for rescuing five of the flight’s six survivors. The dramatic, televised event highlighted the importance of airborne law enforcement units and spurred the improvement of rescue helicopters. (National Law Enforcement Museum)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Project Sky Knight: In response to unrest in Watts and other urban areas, President Lyndon Johnson signed the $10M Law Enforcement Assistance Act in 1965. LASD immediately applied for a grant to fund operation of three leased Hughes 300 helicopters in a study of their effectiveness in combatting serious crimes – “Project Sky Knight” –which ran through 1967 with incredible results. (National Law Enforcement Museum)

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