January 20, 2018 – It is with a heavy heart that the CHP Valley Division Air Operations Unit reports the loss of retired California Highway Patrol helicopter pilot, Officer JC Dodd, 13315. JC died doing what he loved most, flying helicopters. On Wednesday evening, January 17, 2018, he and four others were killed when their helicopter crashed in the mountainous area of New Mexico. The crash is currently under investigation by NTSB. After his retirement from the CHP, he became a personal commercial helicopter pilot for a rancher in Trinidad, Colorado.
JC Dodd started his California Highway Patrol career at the academy in August of 1990. After graduation he was assigned to the Marin CHP office for three years before transferring to the Valley Division Air Operations Unit in February of 1994. Finding his dream job, he spent the rest of his career as a helicopter pilot until he retired in May of 2010. JC’s contributions to the California Highway Patrol were beyond measure. He assisted in the apprehension of hundreds of suspects and saved countless lives through rescues and medical transports. JC was an extremely hard worker and never sat still. If he wasn’t busy doing something he was not happy. JC loved his job so much that he would actually run out to the helicopter after receiving a mission. He was also a huge animal lover and on a several occasions had the opportunity to rescue a few.
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JC’s passion fueled his efforts in pushing the CHP towards the use of night vision goggles in the helicopter program to improve crew safety. His work in this area was the foundation upon which the current CHP night vision goggle program was built.
JC’s passion and integrity was readily evident to all who were privileged to know him. While he was quick to hold anyone accountable who did not meet his high standards, he was equally quick to help that same person when needed. This character trait marked him as a true friend to many people – one who would speak straight and be there to catch you when you fall.
JC earned the right to retire in 2010 and enjoy life. His life was ended to short and will forever be missed by those who knew him and had the privilege to call him friend. JC, although you are gone, you will never be forgotten. Rest easy brother, you earned it.