16.060 - King County Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit

Effective Date: 03/01/2016


1. The King County Sheriff’s Office Operates the Air Support Unit with Helicopters Available for Selected Missions

Guardian One offers air support for patrol and specialized missions.

Guardian Two offers air support for special operations such as search and rescue (SAR) and tactical missions.

The Air Support Unit operates throughout King County and is available to assist the Seattle Police Department at no charge.

2. SPD Communications May Advise Officers When the Air Support Unit is Available

When Guardian One is operational, they normally monitor several frequencies, including MARS.

Communications may advise officers that Guardian One is in service and available to assist.

Guardian Two is normally available as a call-out resource; however, Guardian One can be utilized for missing children and vulnerable adults.

When officers initially contact Guardian One on the MARS channel, they must be specific as to what type of event they are responding to let the aircrew determine what equipment will best resolve the incident.

3. Officers May Request Assistance from the Air Support Unit

When Guardian One is on-duty and operating, officers may request air support assistance directly to Guardian One on the MARS frequency or through Communications.

If Guardian One is off-duty, but their assistance is required for a police operation, a sergeant will screen the request and coordinate with Communications.

16.060-PRO-1 Off-Duty Call-out of the Air Support Unit


1. Notifies their sergeant of an incident that would benefit from the assistance of the Air Support Unit and the Air Support Unit is not on-duty.

(Examples for a call-out include a life safety incident or a serious crime incident where air support would be beneficial.)


2. Screens the incident and makes the request through Communications, if appropriate.

- Includes contact information and relevant information as to why air support is needed.


3. Contacts the Air Support Unit and notifies them of the request for assistance.

4. Notifies the officer if the Air Support Unit will assist and provides an estimated time of arrival over the scene.