The award, sponsored by MD Helicopters, recognizes an individual who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of helicopters in support of law enforcement activities. It will be presented on 7 March at HAI Heli-Expo 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
In 2014, an opportunity came to blend Rogers’ two passions, aviation and police work. That year, Rogers was selected to join the aviation unit as the police department’s first tactical flight officer (TFO).
Until that time, the Michigan State Police (MSP) had operated its fleet of helicopters and airplanes with two pilots. In his new position, Rogers would help develop the MSP’s TFO program from the ground up. After attending the Los Angeles Police Department’s TFO school, returned to help establish an extensive curriculum to train all incoming MSP TFOs.
Presenting the best tool for any specific mission
Through the work of Rogers and his team, the MSP became the country’s first police department to receive a state-wide certificate of authorization for UAS operations in uncontrolled airspace. He soon added to the authorization approvals for day and night operations in controlled airspace, including emergency exceptions into Class B airspace.
“The big thing for our unit is being able to deploy the best tool for the job,” Rogers explained. “If someone calls for an aerial search, by having helicopters, airplanes, and UASs in our unit, we can present the best tool for that specific mission. Having UASs in the aviation unit has been instrumental in providing that service. That isn’t something that’s necessarily done in other agencies.”
The Law Enforcement Award will be presented during HAI Heli-Expo 2022.