In The News

Ripon Police Department

RIPON, CA. The Ripon Police Department recently received a Justice Department grant to acquire a powered parachute at no cost to the City. The grant provided $30,000 in equipment and training from the Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center. This is not a new technology, but a new use by law enforcement. There are only six others in the United States used for this purpose, and Ripon is the seventh -- and the only one in California.The powered parachute will help in searching along the Stanislaus River -- one pilot in the air can do the job of several officers on the ground. Every summer, the Department receives several calls to find lost and missing rafters along the river. They will be able to cover a large area in just a few minutes. In town, Officers will be able to see an entire neighborhood rather than just one street when searching for missing children.
The aircraft can take off in less than 100 feet. It can fly at 35 mph in calm weather, slower when flying into the wind. It has a 10-gallon capacity gas tank.Plane_front_view_002-402x477
Sgt. Merchant and Lt. Ormonde volunteered to get pilot training, and are now certified to fly the powered parachute. The air machine weighs just over 400 pounds and can carry both officers. The big advantage is that it costs about 30 dollars an hour to fly, which includes fuel and maintenance. That compares to up to $1,500 dollars an hour for a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. The powered parachute is stored in a trailer and can be deployed in 15 minutes once it arrives at a scene. In an emergency, the pilots can use several of our city parks and elementary schools for take-off.
The Ripon Department is looking at getting PA system and camera so dispatchers can see what is being seeing from the air. The aircraft will be an observation platform. They will also be able to locate marijuana activity in and around the city of Ripon. For more information about how this program can work for your police force or to schedule a product demonstration contact Powrachute.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  09-14-10
RIPON’S EYE-IN-THE-SKY ASSISTS IN ANOTHER  ARREST:
Ripon, CA – On Friday, September 10th, the Ripon (Ca.) Police Department’s Aviation Unit received a request for
assistance from the Manteca (Ca.) Police Department.  Manteca officers were looking for an armed suspect who had just
committed a residential burglary.  The suspect fled into a corn field in the North-West section of their city.
Ripon pilot, Sgt. Steve Merchant, responded to the scene in the department’s Powered Parachute (PPC).   The aircraft
was provided to the department free-of-charge by the US Department of Justice, Aviation Technology Program.
Ripon “Air-One” conducted a search of the corn field, and surrounding residential sub-division.  MPD officers were sure
the suspect was in the corn field.  Visibility into the field was limited, due to the fact that the corn had grown to 6’-8’ high. After refueling, MPD officers requested that the Ripon airship return, to keep the suspect from fleeing the corn field.  Lt. Ed Ormonde took over as the Pilot-In-Charge (PIC), while Sgt. Merchant acted as the Tactical-Flight-Officer (FTO) for the return mission.
Manteca Police Officers were able to complete a ground search of the corn field, and they located the suspect.
Sgt. Steve Merchant said, “I could see MPD had a great perimeter set up before we arrived on-scene.  We couldn’t see
the suspect through the foliage, so our goal was to keep the suspect pinned down, until the MPD K-9 and officers could
move in.”
Contact Info:
P.I.O. - Sgt. Steve Merchant
Ripon Police Department
259 N. Wilma Ave.
Ripon, CA  95336
209-599-2102    Business
209-599-4034    FAX
Smerchant@cityofripon.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                                  CONTACT:
Thursday, May 13, 2010                                                                                                         PIO Lt. Edward Ormonde
Office: (209) 599-0259
eormonde@cityofripon.org
RIPON AVIATION UNIT HELPS COMBAT DAYLIGHT BURGLARIES
The Ripon Police Department announced today, that in the first ten months of operation, their Aviation Unit, working in coordination with ground based patrol operations, has reduced daylight burglaries by 64%, from the same time period a year ago.
In July of 2009, the Ripon Police Department was the only police department in California to implement a powered parachute aviation program.  The department received the aircraft for free, as part of an ongoing program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, looking into the viability of powered parachutes being utilized by small and rural law enforcement agencies on a national level.
The Ripon Police Department, Aviation Unit has been conducting high visibility, neighborhood patrols, in areas experiencing daylight burglaries.  On several occasions, the powered parachute pilots have been able to quickly locate suspicious persons in residential areas, and relay the information to responding officers on the ground.  “Based on
comments provided to officers by suspects being contacted, I believe that the aviation program has been a great deterrent in helping keep the criminal element out of our city”, said Lt. Ed Ormonde.Ripon's aviation program has been highly successful.  The powered parachute has been utilized in rescue situations, as well as in the apprehension of
criminal suspects.
The Aviation Unit has provided aerial security for public events, and has successfully flown crime scene and collision scene photographic missions.  The aircraft is utilized routinely to fly critical infrastructure, crime suppression, and patrol support missions.  When called upon, the aircraft has the capability of being prepped and in the air to aid ground based
personnel in a matter of minutes. For further information contact
Lieutenant Ed Ormonde
Patrol Operations Supervisor
259 N. Wilma Ave.
Ripon, Ca. 95366
Business: (209) 599-2102
Desk: (209) 599-0259
Fax: (209) 599-4034
Email: eormonde@cityofripon.org
RIPON POLICE DEPARTMENT – PRESS RELEASE:
For Immediate release:
Contact: Lt. Ed Ormonde
Tel: 1-209-599-2102
Email: eormonde@cityofripon.orgDSC02870-600x449

RIPON’S EYE IN THE SKY ASSISTS WITH SUSPECTS CAPTURE
On 11-02-09, at 1119 hours, Ripon Police Department officer Scott Lindsay was conducting a security check at the Jimco Truck Stop (1022 E. Frontage Rd.), due several recent vehicle thefts in the area. He made contact with three suspicious persons, who were believed to be associated with a vehicle displaying expired registration tabs. One of the suspects was found to have an outstanding $50,000 criminal bench warrant for his arrest.  The suspect with the warrant fled the scene. The department’s aviation unit, equipped with a powered parachute, arrived on scene to assist ground officers in the search for the fugitive.  Sgt. Steve Merchant, the pilot of the PPC, spotted the suspect hiding behind a building.  The
suspect’s location was relayed to ground units, and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
In response to seeing the powered parachute circling overhead, the suspect said, “You guys are everywhere, I had no where to run!” The suspect was charged with resisting arrest, and with providing false information to a police officer.  He was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on the bench warrant.
The powered parachute was provided to the Ripon Police Department at no cost to the City, by the US Department of Justice, Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center.  

Palm Bay Police Department

Palm Bay, Florida. — The Palm Bay Police Department was recently granted the use of a Powrachute Powered Parachute as a low cost alternative to conventional higher cost helicopters or fixed wing aircraft. Palm Bay Police is one of seven agencies nationally that recently received a Department of Justice grant to acquire a powered parachute at no cost to the City. The grant provided $30,000 in equipment and training from the Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center.
The powered parachute will help in searching for missing persons and aid in various police operations where an aerial view of the crime scene or missing person can make a difference between life and death while at the same time keeping costs in line with other ORV or Marine patrol vehicles. One pilot in the air can do the job of several officers on the ground.Palm_Bay_soar_team-463x294
Every year, the Department receives several calls to find lost and missing people. With the use of this technology Palm Bay Police will be able to cover a large area in just a few minutes. In town, Officers will be able to see an entire neighborhood rather than just one street when searching for missing children.
The aircraft can take off in less than 100 feet. It can fly at 35 mph in calm weather, slower when flying into the wind. It has a 10-gallon capacity gas tank that holds standard automotive gas.
Lieutenant Renkens and Lt. Eakins volunteered to get pilot training, and are now certified to fly the powered parachute. The air machine weighs just over 400 pounds and can carry both officers. The big advantage is that it costs about 30 dollars an hour to fly, which includes fuel and maintenance. That compares to up to $1,500 dollars an hour for a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. The powered parachute is stored in a trailer and can be deployed in 15 minutes once it arrives at a scene. In an emergency, the pilots can use several city parks or schools for take-off.

Escambia County PD.

Escambia County, AL. — The Escambia County Police Department was granted the use of a Powrachute Powered Parachute as a low cost alternative to conventional higher cost helicopters or fixed wing aircraft. Escambia County is one of seven agencies nationally that recently received a Department of Justice grant to acquire a powered parachute at no cost to the County. The grant provided $30,000 in equipment and training from the Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center. The powered parachute will help in searching for missing persons and aid in various police operations where an aerial view of the crime scene or missing person can make a difference between life and death while at the same time keeping costs in line with other ORV or Marine patrol vehicles. One pilot in the air can do the job of several officers on the ground. Every year, the Department receives several calls to find lost and missing people.  With the use of this technology Escambia Police will be able to cover a large area in just a few minutes. In town, Officers will be able to see an entire neighborhood rather than just one street when searching for missing children.
The aircraft can take off in less than 100 feet. It can fly at 35 mph in calm weather, slower when flying into the wind. It has a 10-gallon capacity gas tank that holds standard automotive gas. The powered parachute weighs just over 400 pounds and can carry two officers. The big advantage is that it costs about 30 dollars an hour to fly, which includes fuel and maintenance. That compares to up to $1,500 dollars an hour for a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. The powered parachute is stored in a trailer and can be deployed in 15 minutes once it arrives at a scene. In an emergency, the pilots can use several city parks or schools for take-off.