Steve developed a list of objectives to be met in order to make this plan viable and ready for presentation to the Chief of Police, Mayor and Council.
1. No tax funds to be used.
2. An all volunteer crew of police officers, firefighters, emergency
medical personnel and civilians.
3. Fully-qualified and certified pilots and crew.
4. Fully Insured.
5. Balloon inspected and certified by the FAA.
6. Compliance with all FAA rules and regulations.
7. Ownership of the balloon should in the name of a
It was agreed that the official name would be “First & Finest” as suggested by Lieutenant Moylan:
“FIRST” in honor of America’s first manned flight.
“FINEST” in honor of the law enforcement profession.
The “First & Finest” maiden flight took place in May 1998 during the Deptford Day celebration. The launching site was an athletic field in Fasola Park.
Thousands of people watched and applauded as the balloon flew off. Approximately a half-hour later the balloon landed near a residential neighborhood beginning a new era of police-community relations.
The original “First & Finest” balloon was black and gold (Deptford’s colors) on loan free of charge by Harry Collison who also donated his services as one of the pilots.