New drone technology to be acquired by the San Mateo Police Department to help locate missing persons and solve auto burglary crimes, among other tasks. Likely to include the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise and the just-released DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
San Mateo Police acquires drone technology
The Daily Journal reports that the City Council has signed off on the department’s plans to acquire new drone technology. The San Mateo Police Department is planning to buy two drones.
“I love to see us using technology to keep our community safe,” said Deputy Mayor Eric Rodriguez at a meeting June 1. “Every time each one of us [councilmembers] runs for office the number one or maybe number two bullet point has always been community safety. This is something that really goes through with that and puts community safety at the forefront.”
The news article does not specify which exact drones will be bought but traffic Sergeant Shannon Hagan explains that one of the two models is a larger more expensive drone that can stay up in the air for about 40 minutes and is designed to withstand harsher nations. This specific model can also carry heavier equipment including sophisticated cameras, light systems, and a speaker to communicate with people who are stranded.
The second smaller drone can stay in the air for up to 20 minutes and is easier to deploy. Both drones weigh less than 55 pounds and will never be equipped with weapons.
“[The smaller model] can be carried around so if we had something that needed to go up right away it’s easy to turn on, fire and send out. … The bigger one takes more work to deploy,” Hagan said. “If we have a barricaded subject or something that’s requiring more time while we have one aircraft coming down the other one can remain in its place and we don’t lose any of the overview surveillance time.”
The drones offer a significant cost advantage when compared to traditional aerial perspectives that are provided by an airplane. For instance, to operate a manned aircraft, the police department needs to hire two pilots and a flight officer that costs a total of $300 per hour. The replacement cost of the airplane itself are at least $500,000. Compare this to the two drones, including equipment cost for FAA Part 107 licensing, training, and aircraft systems and you’re looking at a total of less than $40,000.
The article does not specify which two drone models are being acquired by the San Mateo Police Department, but it sounds like they might be looking at a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise and the just-released DJI Matrice 300 RTK.
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