Palm Bay Police in central Florida are using a new technology to catch a thief. The Search Operation Aerial Response team (S.O.A.R) will use powered paragliders in their day to day operations to conduct aerial surveillance. Besides looking for criminal activity, the police officers will use these aircraft to search for lost children and seniors. They will also patrol the skies in search of stolen vehicles.
Four police officers are receiving training from the local school. The department will utilize two Dudek powered paragliders loaned out by Ray MacMahon Powered Paragliding Equipment located in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The powered paragliders are equipped with a special canopy that identifies the aircraft as being with the police department. The harness has a bullet-proof seat for the officers to sit in just in case they attract gun fire from below. After eight months of testing the Palm Bay Police Department will have the option to purchase the equipment for $25,000. The cost to operate this service is being paid for by confiscated drug money.