P.G. eyes in the sky win surveillance award

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Local,Crime,Aubrey Whelan

Two members of the Prince George's County police's Aviation Unit have received a national award for their video footage, the county announced on its website.

The Aviation Unit is part of the department's Special Operations Division and typically provides surveillance services and air support for officers on patrol.

It also shoots video of arrests and patrols -- and this year captured footage sufficiently compelling to place second in the 2012 FLIR Vision Awards.

FLIR, a thermal imaging company that takes its name from forward-looking infrared systems, hands out the awards each year to aviation units across the country that have captured extraordinary footage. Previous award winners have featured drug busts, hunts for suspects on the run and a suspect filmed in the act of breaking a window and entering a home. The blurry, infrared-style footage isn't exactly Oscar-worthy, but for law enforcement officials, it's often crucial in a police operation.

Prince George's Cpls. Todd Dolihite and Brian Catlett placed second this year for "an outstanding apprehension with K-9."

The top three videos in the competition will be featured at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association's national convention. Dolihite and Catlett also received a $1,000 cash prize to donate to a charity. The officers picked HEROES Inc., a D.C.-area nonprofit that helps families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. It's the second year in a row the department has placed in the FLIR contest -- last year, the Aviation Unit got third in the competition.

awhelan@washingtonexaminer.com

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Aubrey Whelan

Staff Reporter - Crime
The Washington Examiner