Pullman Police Department Drone Program
PULLMAN, WA —
The Federal Aviation Administration issued Pullman Police Department their drone certification.
They can now fly over a total of 7 counties in Washington and Idaho.
Just last week PPD’S drones helped Washington State Patrol search for a driver who ran away from them.
The added perspective from the air enabled Pullman officers to provide assistance, then return to patrol quickly.
They've also documented major crime scenes, supported Quad Cities Drug Task Force operations and evaluated traffic patterns during major athletic events,
Officer Alex Gordon is one of the drone pilots and is now a certified Federal Aviation Administration Pilot.
He spent almost 30 hours learning to fly and how to use all the features.
"One of the features is that we can set it to follow objects or things we've used that somewhat to try and test with us to follow a patrol car," Gordon said.
They've also used it during training exercises to review their formations and driving.
It will help the most when dealing with elevation they can search faster, maneuver hills and buildings.
It also helps police in potentially dangerous situations.
"We also have the availability of a heads up display so if it needs to go inside a structure officers can look using the heads up display and still navigate," Chief Jenkins said.
Instead of an officer, they can send in their drone first just in case of an ambush.
Four new drones, roughly $10,000 investment the chief says is worth every penny.
"It definitely makes us more efficient and helps make the community safer," Chief Jenkins said.