Boise Police Department launches new drone program

Posted at 4:28 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 18:28:24-04

The Boise Police Department spent the last year preparing to add drones to their toolbox to keep the public safe and also its officers.

The department purchased four drones at a price of around $2,000 a piece that includes the drone and all the equipment that comes with it, they also have four pilots who have received FAA certification to fly the drones.

The tool that it is for us that benefits our officer's safety and the mission of the police department I think is well worth the investment that we made," said CPT. Ron Winegar of the Boise Police Department.

The plan is to use the drones in several different ways including mapping a scene of a crime, search and rescue missions and also gathering intel that gives the police an eye in the sky that could alert police of unknown dangers.

"We've had officers hurt, severely injured and killed in the line of duty and we see it happening across the country," said Winegar. "We think this is a great tool to reduce the likelihood of that happening."

The police also want the public to know that what the drones will NOT be used for in an effort to protect the privacy of the people of Boise.

"We will not be using them for everyday surveillance, we will not be using them without a warrant, we will not be using them for any type of traffic enforcement," said Winegar.

With this technology continuing to make advancements there is no telling what the police will be able to use drones for, in the future, Winegar said that at some point thermal imaging and night vision may become a possibility for the department.

In the near term, Winegar said that drone imaging might be able to limit the amount of time officers have to shut down a road after a crash.