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Night Vision Award Winners Honored at ALEA

(ORLANDO, Florida )  The Night Vision Awards were presented at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s (ALEA) Annual Trade Show and Convention in Orlando, Florida at the Peabody hotel July 18 with more than 200 people in attendance.

 “The receptiveness of ALEA attendees and exhibitors continues to grow each year and everyone at ASU is happy to be a part of and co-sponsor the Night Vision Awards,” said Co-Sponsor Aviation Specialties Unlimited Director of Marketing and Sales for co-sponsor, Hannah Gordon.  “The goal for the Night Vision Awards was always to bring recognition and notoriety to the units using NVGs.  All the recipients are well deserved and we appreciate the increase support of attendees.”

The DeKalb County Police Department, Kern County Sheriffs Office, Minnesota State Patrol Aviation, and the Sarasota County Sheriffs Aviation unit were presented with a 5- year service award.

"The use of night vision goggle technology has been invaluable to help our unit safely meet the demanding nature of airborne law enforcement operations,” said Sergeant of the Kern County Sheriffs Office, Mauricio Marquez.

The City of Albuquerque Police Department Air Support Unit, Martin County Sheriffs Office, and Tucson Police Air support Unit were all presented with a 10- year service award.

“We are honored to receive this award. Night Vision Goggles are an invaluable tool to our unit. Albuquerque has a unique flying environment at night. Outside of the city we can find ourselves responding to calls into the darkness of the desert, or the 10,000 feet Sandia Mountains. Without the use of Night Vision Goggles we simply could not consider flying in these environments. Numerous people are home safe today because we were able to find them with the aid of Night Vision Goggles. Simply stated, our unit is safer and more efficient because of Night Vision Goggles, said Office John Skinner of the Albuquerque Police Department, Air Support Unit.

“As a unit manager and supervisor of the Tucson Police Air Unit, it is always an honor to be recognized for the accomplishments of our air crews.  In the law enforcement community, the expectation is to be professional and to provide the best service possible.  This award solidifies the efforts of our air crews’ day in and day out,” said Sergeant of the Tucson Police Air Support Unit, Garry Arnold.

“It is important to continue to recognize those operations around the world that are not only using NVGs to enhance their life-saving, crime-fighting or firefighting capabilities, but are also using NVGs to increase the safety of their operation,” said Publisher of Vertical Magazine Mike Reyno.  “Congratulations to those operations that continue to demonstrate excellence in the use of NVGs.”

In addition to the 5-year and 10-year service awards, The Community Awareness award was also presented. The Community Awareness Award was awarded to the Minnesota State Aviation Patrol for an inspiring story in which a man who was lost and trapped in quicksand in May of 2012 was saved by flight officers using night vision goggles
(NVGs) to pick up the light from the victims cell phone.

“NVGs increase aircrew situational awareness by allowing operators to see under low ambient light conditions.  We feel it is important to recognize operators that have taken the necessary steps to increase mission capabilities and improve safety with the use of night vision technologies,” said President and CEO of Night Flight Concepts, Adam Aldous.

“The recognition of the Minnesota State Patrol Flight Section efforts is greatly appreciated,” said Minnesota Stat Patrol, Lieutenant Matt Nelson.  “These awards are truly a group effort.  We initiated our NVG program in 2004 and never looked back.  For those of us who were around prior to using NVG's we have frequently asked ourselves how we ever did some of our missions in the past.  Law Enforcement pilots are truly among America's best.   The missions that law enforcement pilots are called upon to do every day is a testament to this.  To be recognized among the best is simply humbling.”

The Mark of Excellence Award was presented to the DeKalb County Police Department, who show a dedication to quality and excellence in their operation with NVGs.

“It is an honor for the Aerial Support Unit to receive a service award for its use of night vision goggles during missions.  The unit’s work is a glaring example of the DeKalb County Police Department’s commitment to safety and providing quality service to the community and our police officers,” said Police Chief Cedric Alexander.

The next Night Vision Awards will be held at NightCon in Dallas September 18-20. The Mark of Excellence Award will be given out in addition to the NightCon Lifetime Achievement Award, that is given to an individual who helped pioneer the use of Night Vision Goggles.

“Recognizing the pioneers who paved the "NVIS way" for the rest of us to fly safer at night, is the least we can do as an industry,” said Rotorcraft Pro Media Network Editor in Chief Lyn Burks.   “These nominations and subsequent awards, not only honor, but affirm the work that individuals and operators are doing to make a safer helicopter industry. We need to recognize those who are using NVIS effectively and saving lives.”

Nominations are accepted year round.  Any flight operation using any Night Vision systems is eligible for consideration. Award nomination packets can be downloaded or filled out at http://www.nightvisionawards.com.  A full list of previous winners and award description can be found on the website also.

2013 Award Winners

Recipients for the 5 year service award:
DeKalb County Police- Sergeant Jeff Wigs

Kern County
Sergeant Mauricio Marquez
Deputy Timothy Caughron
Deputy Christopher Martin

Minnesota state Patrol aviation unit
Lieutenant Matt Nelson
Cw4 david latt

Sarasota County Sheriff Office
Deputy Pilot Brent Winneka
Deputy Pilot Dave Bouffard

10 year service award
City of Albuquerque
Officer John Skinner
Officer Nicholas Pearson

Martin County Sheriffs Office
Deputy Sheriff Andrew Nicoletti
Deputy Sherriff Wayne Trocan

Tucson Police Air Support Unit
Lt. Dan Lewis
Sergeant Garry Arnold
Office Steve Riddell
Officer Scot Raider

Community Awareness
Minnesota State Patrol Aviation Unit
Lieutenant Matt Nelson
Cw4 David Latt

Mark of Excellence
Dekalb County Police Department
Segeant Jeff Wiggs

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