Starting an Air Unit with Stockton PD and the Bell 505

For law enforcement agencies, starting a brand-new aviation unit, completing successful missions and staying under budget can seem like an impossible task. However – with Bell’s aid – Stockton Police Department proves that acquiring an affordable helicopter that helps protect communities is very possible. The city of Stockton is home to 350,000 citizens, 485 authorized officers and now, an aviation unit with a Bell 505. After a long journey to win approval and secure funding for this unit, Chief Pilot Daniel Lowry and Sgt. Rich Buckley now use the aircraft to provide aerial support for their teams.

“Defining the mission is the first step,” said Lowry. “An obvious second step is that funding source. However, we've discovered, especially with the Bell 505, is a lot cheaper than a lot of people think.” The officers knew to be up front about spending, including maintenance costs, and not try to downplay any expenses. Likewise, Bell is equipped to consult with customers about budget constraints and financing options. Together, the teams were able to kickstart the air unit at an affordable rate. And for the reason they chose the Bell 505, its performance stood out as the winning factor. “The power is really impressive,” Lowry remarked. “I think that was probably what impressed me the most; I was really shocked.”

After getting over the hurdle of acquiring the right aircraft, the Stockton officers needed to prove that it was worth it. This is where Bell’s excellent support made a difference. “We have some amazing people around us, and Bell’s customer service is unreal,” said Buckley. “Anytime there was an issue, immediately, people were on it and getting it taken care of.” The aircraft reliability and immediate reactions from Bell teams ensured that the program started off without any problems, much to Lowry’s relief. “We never lost any patrol time and that was huge. It was one of my biggest fears because we don't have any room for error when we’re just beginning missions.”

Stockton PD Aircraft.JPG

As for the day-to-day operations, the officers were able to provide critical assistance in an arrest within hours of their first flight. After 20 successful pursuits and more than 2000 completed tasks, they’re solving community problems and adding value with the Bell 505. As for what’s next, Lowry and Buckley that they are in need of more pilots to fly the aircraft. They’re eager to advance the program and create more solutions for the people of Stockton, and the teams at Bell are ready to support.


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, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit:

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.

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