Sheriff’s deputy: Drones are a “cost-effective way of enhancing public safety.”
An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy showed this drone-captured footage of a recent fire on the Oakland-Emeryville border.
Speaking at the Drone World Expo on Tuesday, a panel of four law enforcement officers resoundingly approved their use and likely near-term expansion of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles.
“I really feel that small UAVs are a cost-effective way of enhancing public safety,” Cmdr. Tom Madigan, of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, told an assembled group of mostly fellow deputies and officers. “I hope in the near future we will be able to deploy these out of a patrol car or a fire truck.”
As one of the largest law enforcement agencies in Northern California, with a fleet of six drones that are often loaned out and used on behalf of other public safety agencies from Monterey County to the Oregon border, the ACSO has been busy.
“As of last week, we have deployed 70 real world missions in the last year,” he said. “We have quickly become one of the most active UAV units in the nation, and we’re easily the biggest.”