Tijuana First Responders Launch Drone Program


The Tijuana Public Safety Department in Mexico has launched a new Drone as First Responder (DFR) program in partnership with Cape, a cloud platform for drone telepresence and data management.

The program will integrate two drones equipped with the Cape Aerial Telepresence platform into the department’s daily operations. The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will support emergency response efforts within a three-kilometer radius of the Tijuana Public Safety Department headquarters. The goal is to improve operational efficiency and the safety of the first responders.

Launched from the roof of the headquarters, the UAS will be dispatched to 911 calls across the downtown and Zona Rio areas. With access to the drones’ real-time feed, officers can get a live view of a situation before arriving on scene.

“For our officers, real-time visibility is critical for ensuring their safety and the safety of both Tijuana residents and visitors,” says Marco Antonio Sotomayor Amezcua, secretariat of public safety for the City of Tijuana. “Ensuring that our first responders have the tools they need to best serve our community is always a top priority. We have seen the benefits of drone use for public safety firsthand and are extremely proud to be at the forefront of adopting the technology, as the first city in Mexico to deploy a Drone as a First Responder program. We look forward to seeing the impact the program has on our city and to serving as an example for other agencies across the country.”

The initiative is modeled after a similar DFR program in Chula Vista, Calif., says Cape. The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) has been working on public safety drone integration in partnership with Cape as part of the City of San Diego’s participation in the federal UAS Integration Pilot Program. Since CVPD’s UAS program launch in October, its drones have responded to more than 572 calls for service, accounting for more than 140 hours of total flight time, and have been credited with supporting more than 70 arrests, according to Cape.

“Drone as First Responder programs are redefining what’s possible and shaping the future of public safety for law enforcement agencies across the globe,” comments Chris Rittler, CEO of Cape. “As evidenced by the results we’ve seen Chula Vista, the impact of unlocking total aerial visibility – something that was previously reserved only for larger agencies with big budgets – is undeniable. Tijuana is demonstrating technology leadership and a strong commitment to increased public safety through their investment in the DFR program. Cape is honored to be their technology partner.”

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