On Aug. 20 Sheriff John D’Agostini unveiled the newest member of the sheriff’s fleet — a Jet Ranger helicopter, call sign Eagle One.
The presentation of Eagle One was conducted at the annual Sheriff’s Posse Picnic at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds when the helicopter, complete with El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office decals, landed at the event.
The helicopter owners, pilots Ed Rincon and Dr. Richard Moorehouse, have agreed to volunteer both their personal services as reserve deputy sheriffs, as well as the use of their helicopter for community service efforts. With volunteer pilots using their own aircraft there is no cost to the taxpayers or the county. The fuel will be paid for through federal asset forfeiture funds.
”This is another example of the volunteerism we have in El Dorado County, citizens wanting to get involved in keeping our communities safe,” D’Agostini said. “The Sheriff’s Office has over 600 volunteers that are committed to public safety and service to others. I want to thank Dr. Moorehouse and Ed Rincon for taking our service to the community to the next level.”
The helicopter will allow sheriff’s deputies faster call response times, and not just because it can reach speeds of 150 miles per hour. Whereas vehicles may be hindered by the mountainous terrain of the Sierra Nevada, helicopters can increase momentum for search and rescue efforts in areas otherwise difficult to access. Moorehouse explained that this advantage is especially useful when search and rescue K-9 units need to get across a lake that may be only a mile or two in width but would take hours to drive or hike the same distance. The helicopter can easily transport a few people in just minute’s time.
Criminal marijuana gardens can also be easily detected from the air — making narcotics patrol easier, safer, more effective and more efficient. El Dorado County, with its remote areas, has locations that roads simply don’t go; these circumstances make a helicopter a great asset to the Sheriff’s Department.
Both Rincon and Moorhouse will be reserve deputy sheriffs, and work in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Air Squadron. Rincon and Moorehouse said they were happy to help the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and, as an added bonus, both said that they “love doing police work.”
This is an example of the Sheriff’s Office’s efforts to increase services to the community without any additional cost to the taxpayer. Earlier this year the sheriff opened a STAR volunteer operated substation to better serve the citizens in El Dorado Hills. Also, office lobby, records, and the civil window hours have been extended to better serve the public and their needs, also without any additional cost to the taxpayer.
If you would like to volunteer, or have any ideas to better public safety in our community, contact the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 621-5615.