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Jim Di Giovanna

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Tactical Helicopter Missions: How to Fly Safe, Effective Airborne Law Enforcement Missions
Kevin P. Means  More Info

About the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department in the world. In addition to specialized services, such as the Sheriff's Youth Foundation, International Liaison and Employee Support Services, the Department is divided into ten divisions, each headed by a Division Chief.


 There are three patrol divisions (Field Operations Regions I, II and III), Custody Operations Division, Correctional Services Division, Detective Division, Court Services Division, Technical Services Division, Office of Homeland Security, Administrative Services Division, and Leadership and Training Division.


The Sheriff's Department of Los Angeles County was formed in April, 1850. Elections for the office of Sheriff were held annually until 1882, when the term was increased to two years; in 1894 the term was increased to four years. The first Sheriff of Los Angeles County was George T. Burrill and his staff consisted of two Deputies.


Twenty-four men have served Los Angeles County as Sheriff since 1850: nineteen were elected and six were appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve the unexpired term of their predecessors. Two were killed in the line of duty. Of those appointed, four were re-elected to the office. The youngest man ever elected to the office of Sheriff was William B. Rowland, who was sworn in when he was 25 years old (in 1871), and was re-elected three times. The record for the longest consecutive service goes to Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, who completed 51 years in the department, from deputy in 1907, to being appointed Sheriff in 1932 and then retiring in 1958. Our previous Los Angeles County Sheriff, Sherman Block, entered the department as a Deputy Sheriff in 1956 and continued up through the ranks until he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to succeed Sheriff Pitchess in 1982. In June of 1982, Sheriff Block was elected to a full four year term as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.







Captain Jim Di Giovanna retired as commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Aero Bureau on March 30, 2006, having been assigned to the aviation unit since January 1989. His 34-year law enforcement career also included assignments as a patrol deputy, patrol and operations sergeant and patrol lieutenant watch commander, along with assignments at the Sheriff’s Information Bureau, Field Operations Headquarters and Custody Division.


Captain Jim Di Giovanna is a commercial pilot, helicopter- and instrument-rated, with over 5,800 flight hours. As unit commander of the Aero Bureau, he was responsible for managing aviation operations for the largest sheriff's department in the United States. While supervising 72 sworn and civilian sheriff's department personnel, Captain Di Giovanna had responsibility for directing and overseeing the operation and maintenance of the department's 15 rotary-wing and three fixed-wing aircraft.


Captain Jim Di Giovanna also served in the military, retiring in 2001 as a Colonel and Master Army Aviator from the California Army National Guard and United States Army Reserves after 35 years of service. His many military assignments included Director of Army Aviation and Safety for the State of California and Commander, Aviation Brigade, 40th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the Army Aviation Accident Prevention and Safety Course and the University of Southern California School of Aviation Safety and Systems Management. Jim Di Giovanna wrote the foward to Tactical Helicopter Missions: How to Fly Safe, Effective Airborne Law Enforcement Missions.


According to one reader of Tactical Helicopter Missions: How to Fly Safe, Effective Airborne Law Enforcement Missions, it is”THE BIBLE FOR POLICE HELICOPTER OPERATIONS! As a 'Helo Cop' my fellow helo-cops and I practice the principles outlined in this book everytime we fly. Furthermore, the teachings from this book are passed on to future generations of helo-cops. I personally met Kevin Means and he is an absolute professional and a true gentleman. His work will live on in history long after all of us have passed onto the big Police helipad in the sky.” 

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