Irving Police Department launches drone program

Irving Police Department launches drone program

The Irving Police Department just launched their new drone program. 22 police officers in Irving, Texas will be fully trained Part 107 drone pilots. At least four officers will have a drone ready to fly, in their vehicles during their shift at all times. The drones will be used during searches for missing persons, suspects, to investigate crime scenes and more. The drone program was paid for in part by a city grand.

Less than two weeks ago we reported on the NYPD adding 14 drones to their police force.

Irving Police Department takes to the air

In Irving, Texas, the Police Department has used a city grand to pay for part of their new drone program. The department has about a half dozen drones in their ‘police toolbox’. Most of them are aircraft from the Chinese drone maker, DJI. Drones such as the Mavic Pro, Phantom and from the Matrice series are being used.

22 officers are to be fully trained (Part 107) drone pilots, with the last few finishing up their training by next week. In addition to these pilots, every officer is being trained as a visual observer to assist drone pilots and make sure they are able to fly safely.

“Let’s not just have a few people who have the capability to use this, who may be on duty,” said department spokesman James McClellan to CBS DFW. ”Or, otherwise they would have to be called out, and it may be the middle of the night?”

The drones will be used to help in the search for missing people, apprehend fleeing suspects, to document crime scenes, assist in hazmat situations, disaster response and more. The drone program is expected to reduce the use of police helicopters. The benefits that drones offer are clear as they are much less expensive, faster to deploy and can fly where helicopters can’t

The department stresses that the drones will be used within the limits of the law and that privacy is very important to them. The aircraft will not be used for random surveillance or to monitor people.

What do you think about more and more police departments using drones? Let us know in the comments below.


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