This week TFC Haley Jo Lucas became the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Aviation Division’s first female pilot in the history of the agency.
As Lucas received her wings from Col. Christopher C. Wright, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, at headquarters in Atlanta, she was joined by other GSP pilots, members of the command staff, colleagues, and family members.
The GSP Aviation Division boasts a fleet of 12 helicopters, six hangars strategically placed throughout the state, and 14 pilots.
“Today we celebrate another milestone with the Department of Public Safety. We are proud to recognize the accomplishment of Trooper Haley Lucas on becoming the first female pilot in the Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division. We hope Trooper Lucas’ accomplishment inspires other young women to pursue their dreams,” says Wright.
Lucas was joined at the pinning by Lt. Col. Stephanie L. Stallings, the first female lieutenant colonel in the history of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Stallings began her GSP career as a radio operator in 1997 and worked in a variety of roles on her way to being promoted to lieutenant colonel in October 2020.
“I am extremely honored for TFC Lucas to be in the category of historic firsts. She is leading the way for other young women to follow and is a valuable addition to the GSP Aviation Division,” says Stallings.
The GSP Aviation Division serves as the State of Georgia’s aeronautical search and rescue unit. Their mission is to provide search and rescue capabilities, fire suppression, and any other need that requires aerial support for all 159 Georgia counties and their respective municipalities. The unit also provides support to GEMA/Homeland Security during natural disasters and state emergencies.
This story originally appeared in Police Magazine.