(March 8, 2013) Jackson, TN- The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced on Friday that there will be permanant avation support in Jackson and West Tennessee.
THP will station a helicopter and pilot in Jackson to service Madison and surrunding counties. Previously, helicopters were sent from Nashville. Since this one is located in Jackson, it will shave up to an hour off of response time to West Tennessee.
The pilot, Lee Russell, trained at the Carroll County Airport. The pilot is always on call.
Russell graduated from the University of Tennessee Martin. He worked previously with the Henry County Sheriff's Office in the Drugs Task Force before graduating from the THP Trooper Cadet Academy in 2010.
The helicopter is a 206 B Bell Jet Ranger. It is equipped with F.L.I.R., an infared camera that detects heat signatures, and will soon be equipped with LoJack to assist in looking for stolen vehicles. The pilot will also have a pair of night vision goggles.
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