Sandy Springs accepts drone for police use

A DJI Mavic Pro drone will soon join the Sandy Springs Police Department, now that the city council has accepted a gift of the unmanned aircraft from its IT contractor. WWW.DJI.COM

The Sandy Springs City Council has accepted the gift of a drone to be used by the city’s police department.

InterDev, the city’s information technology contractor, offered to donate the DJI Mavic Pro drone because it believes “the drone will be a valuable, possibly life-saving tool for the city,” according to a memo by City Manager John McDonough to the council. The device operates on a rechargeable battery, is monitored with a smart phone and has a retail cost of $999.

Police expect to use the drone for conducting aerial surveys of serious injury and crash scenes, making photos and videos of crime sites, checking out high-risk warrant service locations before sending in officers, searching for suspects and lost people, and providing general surveillance of special events, McDonough said. The drone also could assist the fire department in surveying fires.

Police will train drone operators in the laws governing the use of unmanned aircraft by private and commercial operators.