New Aviation Division Headquarters

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office held an open house October 22, 2003 so members of the public could visit the new Mobile Command Post and the new Aviation Hanger. The open house was held at the Marathon Airport  The new hanger is located at the north end of the Marathon Airport, near Paradise Aviation.

The hanger and the Command Post were paid for using federal forfeiture funds. Federal forfeiture funds are money seized during the course of joint criminal investigations between members of the Sheriff’s Office and federal agencies. The Command Post cost approximately $249,000.00 and will be extremely useful for a variety of purposes, including major investigations, emergencies, lengthy field operations and hurricane recovery. It came completely equipped and ready to go, except for the installation of communications and computer equipment, which is in the process of being installed. We have already conducted training in how to operate it and set it up for use. It was used for the first time recently during a 12 hour standoff with an armed suspect on Big Coppitt Key.

Our new Aviation hanger is completed and is the new home to both the Knight Star and Trauma Star helicopters and to our prisoner transport plane. The hanger also houses offices for the Aviation Division, a large briefing room and another meeting room which can be used for various purposes. The hanger was built to withstand a category 4 hurricane, with winds of 131 to 155 mph, so the building will also be used for tactical operations and to house equipment for use in the aftermath of a storm. The Aviation hanger was also paid for with approximately $850,000 in federal forfeiture funds, combined with matching funds which came from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.