Calif. PD deploys new indoor micro-drones

The drones, roughly the size of a man’s fist, have been used to locate a suspect during a hostage situation


By Amanda Lien

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Police Department is the first department in the country to use micro-drones indoors in an effort to reduce risks during conflicts.

The small drones, which are outfitted with cameras, are designed to give officers a real-time view of crime scenes. They also allow police to avoid physical confrontations with suspects.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told ABC10 the drones have already saved at least one suspect’s life.

"It's a big deal. That's why we are good with putting information out about it," said Hahn. "I think it's important for this community to know that this technology is now soon going to be out in our patrol force to help us keep them safe and our officers safe. … When we're in close proximity, and I think you're going to kill me, I don't have a lot of options. But when there is a piece of equipment that's there instead of me there are a lot of options."

Officers used a micro-drone last October to locate a man who had taken eight people hostage inside their home after a short police pursuit. Police used the micro-drones to locate the suspect after hostage negotiators had been on scene for 24 hours.

"In that case, it saved a family a lot of money, and they were completely innocent victims," Hahn said. “They got caught up in this guy's crime spree."

Hahn told ABC10 the 12 small drones cost about $90 each and are about the size of a man’s fist.

 

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