The helicopter will be used by SBSD’s Emergency Operations Division to carry out critical missions both within the county, and as part of mutual aid assistance to neighboring counties in southern California.
In addition to general law enforcement support, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit also aids in personnel/cargo transport, airborne photography, search and rescue operations, wildland fire suppression and emergency medical transport services.
“As the lead aerial law enforcement agency for San Bernardino County, it’s critical to have the most reliable aircraft,” said Daniel Futscher, Lieutenant, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Emergency Operations Division. “The topography and vastness of San Bernardino and the neighboring counties we serve can be a challenge, and we are eager to utilize the SUBARU Bell 412EPX to combat those challenges.”
“This will be the fourth Bell aircraft operated by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department … and it will be pivotal to providing emergency response to a heavily populated and challenging environment,” said Lane Evans, Managing Director for North America.
Certified in 2018, the Bell 412 EPX is powered by twin 1,120shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-9 engines, and has a maximum take-off weight of 5,530kg internally, and almost 5,900kg with an external load. The aircraft is also equipped with Bell’s BasiX Pro avionics suite.
The aircraft type is popular with law enforcement agencies in the US, with recent orders placed this year including two for the New York Police Department (NYPD) and another for California’s Ventura County.