(Pat Warren) A former Harford County deputy was honored by the sheriff’s office with a new way of hunting the drug dealers he set out to arrest.
Pat Warren reports it is intended to cost taxpayers nothing.
A new weapon in the arsenal against crime an a new tool for ensuring public safety has the Harford County Sheriff’s office and the family of former deputy Joseph “Mac” McMillion flying.
“Truly, he is the eagle. He hasn’t landed; he is soaring,” said Kay Arrowood.
Eagle One is the sheriff’s new helicopter. Harford County, like other jurisdictions, has relied on air support from Maryland State Police. Now, like Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Harford County has its own aviation unit, paid for by the very people it is intended to help arrest whose assets are confiscated by police.
“It is the drug dealers of Harford County who will fund the total cost, direct or indirect, of our aviation unit,” said Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane.
“My husband, William McMillion Jr., was with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years,” said Melissa McMillion.
McMillion was an undercover drug officer. He died this year of melanoma.
“He said, `Aunt Kay,’ he says, `I have two daughters and if I could just get one drug dealer off the street, it’ll be worth it all,’” said Kay Arrowood.
His badge number is on the helicopter.
“It’s beyond proud. His legacy will live on forever with the sheriff’s office,” McMillion said.
The chopper will be on call.
“To have the aircraft right here to respond quickly to the local area is what makes the apprehension work. When we can get on scene quickly as possible, you can catch bad guys,” said Maryland State Police Aviation Command Lt. Walter Kerr.
“Being able to see everything that’s going instead of just what’s six feet in front of you on the ground,” said Harford Sheriff’s Office Lt. Charles Carr.
McMillion’s daughters find comfort in the honor paid their dad.
“It was a surprise to me walking in today and made me cheer up a little bit,” said Kaitlin McMillion.
“It makes me really proud to say that he was my father,” said Jennifer McMillion.
The unit will not do rescues or medical evacuations. Those are the responsibilities of Maryland State Police.
The County Aviation Unit will also assist the Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace police departments.