"During 2007, about 1 in 5 large law enforcement agencies had a specialized aviation unit operating at least one fixed-wing plane or helicopter. These 201 aviation units, located in departments of 100 or more sworn officers, employed about 3,400 persons, operated almost 900 aircraft in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and logged an estimated 363,000 flight hours. The units performed functions ranging from general operations, such as engaging in pursuits and responding to calls for service, to more specialized operations, such as homeland security, emergency medical services (EMS), special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and firefighting missions. This report is based on data from the 2007 Census of Law Enforcement Aviation Units (CLEAU), which collected information on the characteristics, expenditures, equipment, personnel, functions, and training and safety requirements of aviation units found in law enforcement agencies with 100 or more sworn officers. The CLEAU is the first nationwide study to examine the nature and extent of airborne law enforcement."
Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov