Ground units must also consider landing zone security especially regarding bystanders. For some unknown reason, after a helicopter lands, people like to rush up to get a better look and sometimes stop just feet away from the tail rotor. If ground personnel have protective goggles or even sunglasses, they should put them on as the approaching helicopter will definitely throw debris all around. If there are persons nearby playing sports, picnicking or just lounging around the local park, give them a chance to collect up and secure their belongings. The last thing you need are annoyed bystanders long after the aircraft departs!
Once the helicopter lands, keep in mind that the tail rotor is deadly. Every year there are tragic stories of persons walking into the tail rotor and being fatally injured. In 2009, a paramedic assigned to the Arizona Department of Public Safety was assisting two stranded hikers when he accidentally was struck by a rotor blade sustaining fatal injuries. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the pilot, you are in a VERY dangerous area. Normally, a member of the crew will approach any ground personnel present. If you are asked to assist loading or unloading equipment keep everything low including arms and equipment. If a hat or any equipment is blown away, especially towards the tail, do not chase it. It will only fly a short distance and can be recovered after the helicopter departs.
As with most aspects of law enforcement, common sense is the key. Regardless of their aviation experience, the ground officer can play a critical role in the safe outcome of the airborne law enforcement, or for that matter any aviation mission. If circumstances allow, have a formal class with your law enforcement and/or EMS helicopter operators to gain a greater understanding of their equipment and concerns. Safety is always everyone's business.