Puerto Rico Police Department’s Watchful Eyes from the Sky


Puerto Rico Police Department’s Watchful Eyes from the Sky

Situated in the Caribbean is the 3,500-square-mile island Puerto Rico – home to 3.5 million people. The abundant Latin culture, expansive beaches and luxurious resorts attract numerous visitors each year. To further increase the safety for locals and visitors, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) created the Puerto Rico Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) bureau back in 1986. The bureau is made up of several PRPD divisions, including offshore boat teams and divers, search-and-rescue (SAR), special weapons and tactics (SWAT), criminal intelligence, and the Air Services Division (ASD). Since the ASD’s infancy, Bell Helicopter has had the privilege of being one of its main helicopter manufacturers.

In the early years of PRPD’s ASD division, the fleet included a Bell 206L3 and then Bell OH-58C Kiowas from the U.S. Army. As the years went on, the fleet grew to include a several Bell 407s, Bell 412s, Bell OH-58As and most recently Bell 429s. Captain Glenn Gonzalez, San Juan branch director for the ASD spoke with Vertical Magazine about the 2014 purchase of the Bell 429s:

 “It was necessary to choose a single manufacturer that would provide both a single-engine helicopter for the main tasks of daily basis air support and then a multi-engine helicopter capable of flight under IFR [instrument flight rules]. Based on our previous experience with Bell helicopters and its incredible performance, we made the decision to continue with the 407 add a medium twin model, the 429.”

The ASD’s Bell 429s and Bell 412s are multi-mission capable with a range of additional mission equipment including, an external hoist for rescues and SWAT deployments. The Bell 407s provide urban police missions and can also conduct fast rope and rappel deployments. Then the Bell OH-58As are for training and also conduct urban police missions like the Bell 407s.

These helicopters provide the ASD the ability to have watchful eyes from the sky and have mission efficiency unfounded in other tactical means. The brave, hard-working ASD team operates out of two bases around the clock, seven days a week providing the increased safety and awareness for all the locals and visiting beachgoers day in and day out. 

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

You may also like