NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - More than 150,000 visitors flock to Jones Beach on July 4 alone. So when it comes to keeping everyone safe, watching from above gives the Nassau County Police Department Aviation Bureau's 14 members a closer look.
"We're all police officers, we have pilots, TFOs -- they're the flight officers who are medics and operate cameras," Police Officer Stephen Kaminskey, a pilot, said. "There are mechanics who are police officers also."
Fox 5 was granted access to some of the department's most valuable summer tools. Officer Kaminskey compared the helicopter to a flying ambulance with eyes in the sky. It is equipped with special cameras and advanced maps. It's able to get to any hospital in the county in under 10 minutes, saving valuable time. Last month there were 29 medevacs.
"We're here to back up the ground guys. Anything they need as far as medevacs, crowd control anything they need at all, we're here for them," Kaminskey said.
Aviation is in constant communication with the Marine Bureau.
A state-of-the-art vessel Fox 5 visited made five rescues last month. It patrols the county's south shore while keeping a close eye on boaters. A tricky feat especially on the water.
Police Officer Joel Fuoco said the unit, which has infrared and navigational technology, has pulled over close to 800 boats and written more than 200 violations. While no one has been arrested for BWI this season, he explains what officers look for.
"Could be high-speed operation in congested areas, erratic operation," Fuoco said. "It could also be something as simple as a boat operating without its navigational lights on."
Last year state officials passed legislation allowing the courts to look at a person's records. So now a judge can see your history of BWI and DWI when determining your sentence.