Redlands police: Community meeting will discuss proposed drone for public safety

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courtesy photo/alexandre f. jorge creative commons Redlands police will hold a community meeting July 25 to discuss a proposed unmanned aerial vehicle systemfor public safety use.

A proposed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System — a drone — will be the topic of Redlands Police Business and Community Services’ public meeting July 25 at the Ayers Hotel.

The department is hosting the community meeting in hopes of receiving input and concerns from residents regarding Redlands police adding the device as police support, said Redlands police Sgt. Sean Flynn.

“We’d like to hear what the community has to say and we want to answer any questions,” he said. “Being able to discuss our plan with the public is the best way to address the proposed UAV.”

Flynn says a UAV would be useful in the department, especially in support with high-risk situations, major traffic collisions and in collecting evidence photos and videos with a bird’s eye view.

“The main benefits of a UAV would be officer safety and getting an aerial view of large scale scenes,” he said. “In a hazardous material situation, we’d be able to deploy the drone and wouldn’t have to put an officer at risk. Same goes for a tactical situation. We can get the drone out to get us the information while assessing the scene and we wouldn’t have to put our officers at risk.”

Conversation topics at the July 25 community meeting will include an explanation of UAV’s, the uses for the device, along with prohibited uses, UAVs for evidence collection, case studies, city and FAA regulations. Cost for the drone, which is estimated at about $6,000, will also be discussed.

“That covers training, purchasing the device and controls, along with device training for two officers,” he said. “It’s mostly a one-time cost.”

The meeting at the Ayers Hotel, 1015 W Colton Ave. is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Sgt. Sean Flynn by email at sflynn@redlandspolice.org.

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