The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama is planning to use drones to enhance public and officer safety after 18 months of training and the purchase of DJI drones. The Sheriff’s Office enlisted Adorama Business Solutions to help purchase and set the drones up.

Baldwin County has always relied on officers on the ground and in helicopters to monitor crime scenes and public safety at events. After examining what the latest drones are capable of achieving, Baldwin County decided it was the right time to invest in this technology.

The drone pilots went through an extensive drone pilot training course to receive FAA certifications with a fixed-wing pilot receiving 40 hours of training to fly the drones.

Adorama recommended a range of suitable drones; the Sherrif’s Office wound up settling on DJI’s Matrice 200, Inspire, Mavic Pro 2, Mavic Air, and Spark.

Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office recent Inspire in action

Lt. Daniel Steelman of Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office says drones have already assisted with public safety, and have a wide range of use-case scenarios:

“The use of drone technology as part of our operations enables us to respond to more situations than we could before, increasing both officer and Baldwin County resident safety. From capturing overhead images of crowds and roads, to observing large areas of lands or bodies of water, Baldwin County has been able to expand our drone applications as technology evolves.”

The department is using the recently acquired drones for the following jobs:

  • Crime scene photography and documentation
  • Surveillance planning and operations using zoom cameras that allow officers to stay out of sight
  • SWAT call-outs that mean officers can capture images quickly and safely, reducing risk from dogs, traps and people
  • Internal shots of buildings, so officers can see room layouts and detect any danger
  • Large-scale events to monitor traffic congestion and maintain public safety
  • Search and Rescue operations using a FLIR camera to locate missing children, elderly people and others – even in the dark

Drones and the police

Drones have been helping police for some time now, allowing them to get a view from above a crime scene or an arrest to being the first responder to a crash scene. Police are also using drones in Search and Rescue missions as an eye in the sky that does not alert suspects to a police presence.

Photo: Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office

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