Bend Police drone force taking off to fight crime

On the evening of Nov. 29, police from around Central Oregon had Omar Benitez cornered in a home in Madras. They later reported finding 14 firearms inside.

There was good reason for police concern that day. A career criminal, Benitez, 37, had a history of tangling with law enforcement officers.

But buzzing around and blinking outside the home was a special tool police think helped to convince the attempted-murder suspect to give up: a drone.

Drones — futuristic, brimming with promise, slightly unnerving— have obvious potential for police applications, including the ability to provide live images of an active crime scene to officers safely in the distance, as the

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