The Oceanside Police Department recently acquired San Diego County’s first drone killer, an electronic device that can disable a drone in the sky and force it back to the ground. Other area law enforcement agencies also are considering the technology as a way to rein in unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.
“The purpose is primarily for emergency situations,” Oceanside police Lt. Aaron Doyle said. “It won’t be used when someone complains about a neighbor flying a drone. It’s pretty much for a life-or-death situation, to save lives.”
The need arose in December during a wildfire that destroyed more than 150 structures and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes. During the blaze, someone sent up a drone that forced aerial firefighting operations to cease for more than an hour to avoid a possible collision.
“Shutting down the operations for an hour can be critical to saving lives,” Doyle said.