- Fire-scarred California braces for more storms, flash floods
- Homeowners wait for long-promised state hurricane relief
- These are the most infamous October hurricanes
- Flooding in Venice worsens off-season amid climate change
- Drawing Hope: Illustrator volunteers to sketch homes lost in California wildfires
Most people know the Texas Department of Public Safety keeps our highways and roads safe on a daily basis, but they also have an eye in the sky.
Texas DPS has 15 helicopters statewide. Region 2 is responsible for covering dozens of counties in southeast Texas.
“The Southeast headquarters covers 35 counties. That’s what this aircraft unit is responsible for, but they can go beyond,” Sergeant Stephen Woodard says. “There’s been times where they had to go to Corpus Christi to assist. They’re not limited, but as far as area of responsibility, absolutely, 35 counties. Any agency, any entity that needs this particular aircraft unit’s help, they’ll be there.”
The helicopter can be used in pursuits and manhunts, as well as rescue missions.
“A law enforcement aircraft is really a jewel for law enforcement,” Sgt. Woodard says. “It’s literally the eye in the sky. We’re talking about everything from lifesaving efforts from Hurricane Harvey to suspect capture to missing personnel and an overall eye for a critical scene. But this DPS helicopter, it is a jewel for our agency.”
Reporter Ruben Dominguez had an opportunity to go behind the scenes with the crew and hundreds of feet up in the sky in the DPS helicopter.