Houston police officer Jason Knox once spent months researching the precise color of blue for a vintage police car he was meticulously restoring.
A longtime car aficionado, Knox dreamt of starting a museum to detail Houston’s police vehicles throughout the decades.
That same color of custom blue now graces a single stripe on Houston PD’s new Airbus H125 helicopter as a poignant tribute. Officer Knox’s end of watch with Houston PD tragically occurred in an accident on May 2, 2020. He was 35 years old.
Knox’s badge number — 2374, retired by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo — is written in black letters on the new helicopter as its FAA registration number - N2374F. On January 27, the Houston Police Department dedicated the aircraft to Knox in a ceremony with the support of the local community, and teams from Airbus Helicopters, Davenport Aviation, and Metro Aviation – who worked together to deliver the unit’s new H125 the month before.
Jason loved policing, and he loved this community. He believed in being an ambassador for his profession and worked tirelessly to build relationships,” Chief Acevedo said. “We lost an officer, friend, family member, colleague, public servant and guardian of the peace. He is sorely missed.”
Officer Knox, a tactical flight officer, had served on the Houston Police Department for eight years and was preparing to train as a pilot. He is survived by his wife, two children and parents.
Colleagues remembered Knox as a dedicated husband, father and officer, who frequently showed off the restored police cars at community parades and other events. The airborne law enforcement community is a tight-knit group, and many from around the industry offer their condolences for a life lost too soon.
“As a retired State Trooper from Mississippi, my thoughts and prayers always go out to the family and friends for the loss of a brother or sister in blue. Not only do we at Airbus mourn the loss of Officer Knox, but we feel for his family, friends, and colleagues,” said Ron Kelley, Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s segment manager for airborne law enforcement. “His legacy will live on and he will always be remembered.”
We are always honored to do work for our nation's crimefighters, and this particular completion meant so much to our entire team,” said Metro Aircraft Configuration Coordinator Amy McMullen. "Our hearts are with Officer Knox and all who knew him, and we're humbled to play a part in this aircraft, ensuring his legacy lives on.
“We were proud to participate in a program which honors the legacy of Officer Knox,” said Rob McMillin, Davenport Aviation’s Senior Program Manager. “His loss reminds us of the sacrifices made daily by members of Law Enforcement and their families to keep our communities safe.”
This will be the first H125 for the Houston Police Department, which operates one of the largest air units in the country.
Houston needed an aircraft that could meet its versatile mission needs, including surveillance, search and rescue, port patrol and firefighting support. The H125 checked all of the boxes, Acevedo said.
“We’ve got the right bird with the right capabilities,” he said. “I’m so proud that this aircraft will not only enhance and strengthen our crime fighting capabilities, but also honor a truly fine officer taken from us too soon.”