(TNS) — The next time the SWAT team is called out in St. Louis County or officers have to search for a missing child, a drone may be part of their mission.
On Oct. 24, the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners unanimously approved the department’s first policy to allow officers to use pilotless aircraft, or drones as they’re more commonly known, under limited circumstances.
The St. Louis Police Foundation, a local nonprofit that pays for equipment for city and county police, has donated four drones to the department at a cost of $80,000.
Nine officers are already licensed to fly them, and have been training on how to use them for months, Chief Jon Belmar said. The approval of the policy means they’ll soon be used in police work, but Belmar said the policy limited their use.
“We won’t launch drones to fly over subdivisions to see