U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, center, talks with U.S. Border Patrol officers near a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Blackhawk helicopter in 2009 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.
BAD AXE, MI — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency had helicopters flying over Bad Axe on Friday, Dec. 18, according to a media report.
The Huron Daily Tribune on Saturday reported the spokesman for the agency confirmed the helicopter activity and said the pilots were conducting routine missions while patrolling the international border with Canada.
Spokesman Kris Grogan told the Tribune residents should not be concerned by the activity.
Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said he did not receive notice of the helicopters and received "several inquiries" about them from residents, the Tribune reported. He said he contacted an aviation unit in Detroit, the Tribune reported.
"I wasn't satisfied with their answer to say the least, but I was told (the helicopter) was taking photos," he said, according to the Tribune. "I made them well aware that people are concerned, especially with what's going on in the media."
The helicopters are assigned to the Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch Selfridge ANGB in Harrison Township, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Officer Kris Grogan.
"The Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch is responsible for more than 1,000 miles of international border with Canada, which is patrolled by both aircraft and vessels," Grogan said in the email.
Grogan says there is no reason for concern for residents.
"We also have not fielded any other calls from residents," Grogan's email states.
However, at least one local agency did.
“We had several inquiries about the helicopter and who it belonged to,” Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson said Friday.
Hanson said he called the Aviation Unit in Detroit to gather more information as to why the helicopter was in the area and what its purpose was.
“I wasn’t satisfied with their answer to say the least, but I was told (the helicopter) was taking photos,” he explained. “I made them well aware that people are concerned, especially with what’s going on in the media.”
The sheriff said he was never made aware or given any notice the helicopter would be in the area taking photos.
The Tribune also contacted an aide of U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, who said the office hasn’t gotten any calls from constituents regarding the flyovers, and on Friday was checking to find more information. The office had not responded to an email Saturday seeking an update.
Congresswoman Miller is vice chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.