Fort Wayne Police Officers Learning the Ropes of Drones

Four officers at the Fort Wayne, Ind., Police Department are going through a nine-day training course to be federally certified to fly the department’s new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The police department recently purchased two Yuneec Typhoon H-Pro drones, which will be operated for law enforcement missions and under the express authority of a search warrant, according to a release from the City of Fort Wayne.

However, exceptions include circumstances such as an active shooter or barricade; the substantial likelihood of a terrorist attack; a natural disaster or any other disaster response; geographical, environmental or other survey purposes unrelated to criminal justice purposes; or aerial photographs or video of a motor vehicle accident site on a public street or public highway.

The officers assigned to the Air Support Unit (ASU) will be on call 24/7. The ASU officers will work as a team of at least two: One officer will be the visual observer, who will assist with pre-flight, launch and landing procedures, as well as maintain situational awareness and communications with other on-scene law enforcement personnel, and the remote pilot in command will be piloting the UAS.

The department plans to eventually expand the drones to include nighttime capabilities.

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