South King County Police Introduce Drones for 911 Response

Police in south King County may soon start using drones to respond to 911 emergencies and gather evidence before officers arrive, according to Renton police officer Matthew Nugent. Meanwhile, the Redmond Police Department is already using this technology. As of April 2, they deploy a DJI drone for most 911 calls, providing an aerial view within three minutes, and enhancing situational awareness for officers. Redmond’s drone, stationed at City Hall, has responded to 102 calls, arriving before ground units 88% of the time. 

Police Chief

Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe emphasizes that drones help manage resources amidst a police shortage, although they don’t replace officers. The department plans to switch to locally manufactured BRINC drones, which can fly up to 43 mph and offer two-way communication, thermal imaging, and the ability to deliver emergency medications like Narcan. 

Privacy Concerns

Despite efficiency gains, privacy concerns persist. The ACLU and some residents worry about surveillance, but others support the initiative for its efficiency. Lowe assures that drones operate under strict guidelines, similar to body cameras, and only capture footage relevant to specific calls. 

Best Looking State Patrol Cars In (Almost) Every State

For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association’s annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year’s nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

 

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