Police hope to launch drones over Anchorage — with limits

Anchorage police Capt. Kevin Vandergriff presented draft policies Wednesday on how police would like to use drones at a meeting of the Assembly’s public safety committee.

“Search-and-rescue would be a primary,” Vandergriff said in a short interview after the meeting. “Evidence collection for major crimes and major crime scenes like fatality traffic accidents, for example. Also for tactical applications when we’re responding with a SWAT team for officer safety purposes. Those would be the three primary activities we’re interested in utilizing this technology for.”

According to Vandergriff, some core public safety functions can be done more efficiently by small unmanned aerial systems than by humans or equipment currently utilized in department procedures.

Overhead cameras can reduce search times for missing and vulnerable adults down from hours to minutes, Vandergriff explained to the Assembly.

Documenting a crime scene could similarly be expedited through the use of high-resolution overhead photographs.

In its proposals, the police department introduced

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