Huntington Beach, Calif., Greenlights One-Year Pilot Project for Public Safety Drones

(TNS) — The Huntington Beach, Calif., Police Department received the city council’s unanimous approval Monday night for a one-year pilot program to learn how two drones can be used to enhance public safety.

The program will include joint training and testing exercises with the Fire Department and Marine Safety Division, according to Police Chief Robert Handy.

Drones are used in crime scene and traffic accident photography, SWAT deployments, shark detection, missing-person searches and assessing structure fires and other emergencies, Handy said.

For the past three years, Handy said, a lieutenant was sent to a drone conference to learn more about the technology and how it could be applied to local government.

“We want to try those for a year in a reactive way or proactive way,” Handy said. “It’s not a surveillance program. We’re not looking into people’s backyards unless we’re reacting to a specific tactical event.”

Councilman Patrick Brenden

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