Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
No, it’s a drone, and it’s being operated by Sandy Springs Police.
At a city council meeting on Tuesday, Sandy Springs accepted a donation from InterDev – the city’s IT contractor – for a drone that will be used for police work. The DJI Mavic Pro can fly as high as 16,000 feet, near speeds of 40 mph, and is valued at nearly $1,000.
Sandy Springs says the drone will be used for obtaining aerial surveys of crash scenes, photographing and video recording crime scenes, assisting in high-risk warrant service, searching for lost people, following suspects on the run and providing general surveillance of special events.
Police note that the drone will not be used to patrol private property or fly over residential yards.
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The X-shaped drone is about a foot long, weighs less than two pounds and can fly for 27 minutes at a time. It can be controlled with a smartphone.
Sandy Springs must get federal certification and officers must be trained before it takes to the skies. A usage policy for the drone will take about a month to develop too.
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