A Big Leap for Public Safety with DJI Drone Tech
In the bustling city of Schertz, Texas, the local Police department is setting a new standard for law enforcement with the introduction of advanced Drone Technology. Aimed at revolutionizing its response capabilities, the Schertz Police Department is on the brink of launching a comprehensive Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program based on DJI drone technology that promises to bolster its effectiveness in keeping the community safe, reports KSAT.
Innovative Approach to Law Enforcement
Under the leadership of Chief of Police Jim Lowery, the department has articulated a vision where technology plays a central role in day-to-day operations. “We can use it for lost persons, and we can use it for crime scenes,” Lowery explained, highlighting the DJI drone's potential to significantly improve the quality of police reports through detailed aerial insights.
The drone, a high-end DJI Matrice 30 model equipped with a high-resolution camera, thermal imaging, a loudspeaker, and a Spotlight, was acquired through the efforts of the Schertz Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (SCPAAA). Funded by fundraisers, donations, and a grant from the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC), the $20,000 investment underscores the community's commitment to enhancing public safety through technology.
Bobby Armstrong, president of SCPAAA, emphasized the decision's importance, noting, “There's a lot of different things going on in our society now, and we want to make sure they're protected.”
The DJI drone is not just a tool for law enforcement but also an asset for community service, reflecting a dual purpose that aligns with the department's mission.
Training and Policy Development: Ensuring Responsible Use
To ensure the drone's effective integration into police work, a specialized team comprising two sergeants, two officers, and a Geographic Information System Specialist will soon commence official training. This preparation underscores the department's commitment to utilizing the drone responsibly and efficiently.
Moreover, the Schertz Police Department is actively developing a comprehensive policy framework for drone usage, with a strong emphasis on respecting residents' privacy.
Chief Lowery reassured the community, stating, “Using this platform is no different than a helicopter… We will have to have a legitimate articulable reason within the parameters set in our policy before we can launch.”
This approach aims to balance the benefits of DJI drone technology with the need to maintain public TRUST and privacy.
A Future of Enhanced Safety and Efficiency
As the UAS program gears up for its official launch, the anticipation within the Schertz Police Department and the wider community is palpable. The drone's capabilities, from conducting swift and precise crime scene mappings to locating missing persons with its thermal imaging technology, are set to significantly enhance the police's response abilities. Officer Henry Fahnert encapsulated the sentiment, highlighting the drone's potential to change the dynamics of night operations and search efforts.
With the program expected to be fully operational by the end of this spring, the Schertz Police Department is poised to enter a new era of law enforcement, marked by technological innovation and a deepened commitment to community safety.
Photos courtesy of KSAT.
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