Ocean City Police’s New DJI Drone Unit: A Game Changer for Public Safety

DJI Drone Technology Enhances Safety at the Jersey Shore

Ocean City, , has introduced a new DJI drone unit to boost public safety and operational efficiency. Led by Lt. Mark Pancoast, the unit comprises three drones and five FAA-certified pilots, with a clear mandate to enhance officer and public safety, reports 6 ABC.

As we can see in the featured photo, the three drones used by the Ocean City Police are all Chinese made DJI drones, including a 2, a Pro and a DJI Matrice 30T.


Swift Response in Critical Situations

The drone unit, launched after months of meticulous planning, has already demonstrated its value.

“Officer safety, public safety, using it efficiently and more importantly, actually using it,” said Pancoast.

Within just a week of its deployment, the drones have been pivotal in several incidents.

In one instance, the drones were instrumental in locating a missing person in a creek near Woodbine within minutes of deployment.

Ocean City Police'S New Drone Unit: A Game Changer For Public Safety

Similarly, the DJI Matrice 30T drones' thermal imaging capabilities helped locate an unconscious woman on the beach, enabling swift medical intervention.

Ocean City Police'S New Drone Unit: A Game Changer For Public Safety

Tracking Down Suspects with Ease

Over the recent weekend, the drones were used to track several suspects in a car allegedly stolen from Camden County. The police arrested six teens, aged 13 to 16, charging them with possession of stolen property and other offenses.


Lt. Pancoast highlighted a key feature of the drone program, where the incident commander can view live drone footage on a laptop and monitor body cameras simultaneously.

“If there's a situation where there's multiple officers on location, the incident commander can activate multiple body cameras at the same time,” he explained.

Public Transparency and Future Expansion

Pancoast emphasized transparency, stating, “Showing the back scenes of it, there's nothing hidden or nefarious that we're doing with these drones. They're there for public safety.”

With plans to expand the program, he aims to have more trained pilots to cover more ground, especially during busy weekends when the beach and boardwalk areas are crowded.

DroneXL's Take

Ocean City's innovative use of DJI showcases the potential for enhancing public safety and operational efficiency in law enforcement. This program sets a precedent for other departments to follow, balancing advanced technology with transparency and public . As the program grows, it could serve as a model for integrating drones into everyday policing, ensuring safer communities and more effective crime prevention.

For more on the impact of drones in public safety, check out our articles on recent drone deployments in other cities and their success stories.

Featured photos courtesy of OCNJ.com / Maddy Vitale and Action News.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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