Whether the intent is to find lost seniors suffering from dementia or support a manhunt for fleeing suspects, police in Chula Vista, California, are turning to drones for quick aerial intelligence.
Alongside the city’s fire department, the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) is investing in the technology as a way to maximize time spent by officers on tactical operations. The department is one of many around the country using the technology to supplement operations — a report published Thursday shows that 167 law enforcement organizations acquired aerial drones to help with surveillance in 2016 alone, more than double the number of acquisitions in the three years prior. Police-operated drones can now be found in 347 agencies in 43 states, while unique legislation in Connecticut would weaponize the state’s police drones.
Police Captain Vern Sallee of CVPD said his unarmed drones will assist the department,