City of Nampa and Nampa Police using drone

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 14:34:23-04

The City of Nampa is getting a bird's eye view of their community. Last April, the city purchased a drone. A spokeswoman says they use it show off work being done around the area. 

"We have a lot of good stories to tell at the city of Nampa and so we really feel like the drone is one way for us to show citizens what's going on," said Vickie Holbrook, Communications Director for the city of Nampa. 

So far, one officer with the Nampa Police Department is the only city employee who has passed the pilot certification test. While the drone is kept in the mayor's office, police say they have used it to do site assessment on a half a dozen buildings as well as brought it out on two active crime scenes, but only after getting the okay from the mayor. 

"It's a great tool for us it's a great tool for the city, but again we don't want to overstep our bounds on it either, said Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff.

Chief Hufff says when they use the drone. they also keep a close eye on privacy. They are working to add a policy to address any concerns that may arise.

"It's not a tool that we're going to be abusing, we try to notify the folks that are in the area that we are going to have it up if it all possible. But we are very well aware of the concern," said Chief Hufff.  

In 2016, the city contracted with a company to get drone footage at the cost of  $2,500. Now, The city owns the equipment the city has spent just over $2,400 for the drone itself and training. The Nampa Police Department says they are interested in getting their own drone. The city council would need to approve it.