Tehama County Purchases Helicopter To Launch Aviation Unit

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Department is preparing to launch their aviation unit. A $4 Million Bell UH-1H helicopter has been purchased from a sheriff’s department in Louisiana, and Tehama County Supervisors voted this week to also pay $110,000 for a hoist that’s already attached to the helicopter. The aircraft will be used for search and rescue, crime scene photos, SWAT operations and rural patrols. The hourly cost to run the helicopter is about $560 and it’s expected to be used about 100 hours annually. Sheriff Dave Kain says the purchase and continued operating costs of the aircraft will be paid for by criminal asset seizures. The sheriff’s office has struggled with budget issues for years, recently losing deputies wiled away by higher paying agencies, limiting office hours and last year temporarily suspending services including nighttime patrols.