FLIR Announces Winners of 2019 Vision Awards


ARLINGTON, VA, July 19, 2019 – FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced the winners of the 24th Annual Vision Awards last night at the APSCON 2019 Conference in Omaha, Neb.

FLIR Vision Awards are presented to members of the airborne law enforcement community who have best demonstrated use of thermal imaging systems in carrying out their missions, whether pursuing suspects, search and rescue efforts, or saving lives. The awards are divided into four categories, including the FANG Award for operations involving a K9 support team.

The 2019 FLIR Vision Award winners are:

Vision Award 1st Place

Houston Police Department

Pilot: Frank Gans

Tactical Flight Officer (TFO): Christopher Thompson

Vision Award 2nd Place

Prince George’s County Police Department

Pilot: Mike Kane

TFO: Christopher Elrod

Vision Award 3rd Place

Pima County Sheriff’s Department

Pilot: Rick Hofmann

TFO: Byron Trappman

Life Saver Award

Michigan State Police Aviation

Pilot: Don Zinz

TFO: Cole Martin

Pursuit Award

Fresno County Sheriff Department

Pilot: David Cunha

TFO: Rich Coningsby

FANG Award

Tulsa Police Air Support Unit

Pilot: Michael Richert

TFO: Nilo McCrea

K9 Handler: Jered Metzger

Dog: Khan

“The FLIR Vision Awards are above all a testament to the brave men and women who comprise America’s airborne law enforcement community,” said Dr. Amela Wilson, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR Surveillance. “They deploy at a moment’s notice on often dangerous missions where lives frequently depend on how well they do their job. FLIR is proud to provide the technology and support that help responders achieve successful mission outcomes.”

FLIR has presented the Vision Awards and sponsored the APSCON conference for more than 20 years. A panel of judges nominate finalists and choose the winners based on several criteria, including:

  • Crew coordination – how well did the aircrew communicate and manage the incident, both inside the cockpit and with ground officers?
  • Technical competence – skill-level shown around search techniques, anticipating suspect behavior, focus under pressure, and operating imaging systems.
  • The “FLIR Factor” – how instrumental were FLIR cameras in completing the mission? 

Videos of the winning submissions, showing how thermal infrared technology was used to aid operations, can be found below.


About FLIR Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1978, FLIR Systems is a world-leading industrial technology company focused on intelligent sensing solutions for defense, industrial, and commercial applications. FLIR Systems’ vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense,” creating technologies to help professionals make more informed decisions that save lives and livelihoods. For more information, please visit and follow @flir.

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