Tuesday , May 28 2024

Drones Affect Local Law Enforcement

When drones are flown in the air path of the aviators, that can create a problem. Cal Fire reported that a drone went up into their airspace Sunday, when fighting the Corrine fire.

"You want to make sure you pay attention, you know what’s around you in your surroundings", says Goerlich.

Geoffrey Goerlich at Hobby Town says they’ve got a wide variety of personal, radio operated aircraft and an even greater amount of laws that apply to them that not everyone knows about.

He says, "you want to stay under 400 feet, you don’t want to fly in front of aircraft, you want to stay 5 miles from an airport".

However that doesn’t mean everyone who operates, knows those rules.

"Our biggest fear is to have a drone flying at the same altitude as we do", says Sgt. Larry Hustedde, who supervisees the Air Support Unit for the Fresno Police Department.

Fresno police say that these small four propeller devices could potentially bring down one of their helicopters. The pilots travel at a fast speed and often times won’t see the drone, till it’s too late.

"We’re not talking about toy helicopters that go up to your roof top we’re talking about actual aircraft and sometimes I’ve seen them in a video, they’ll fly over a thousand feet", says Sgt. Hustedde.

The Fresno County Sheriffs Office says they own a drone and use it for bomb squad operations.

"We can fly the drone over it, look at it with a camera and the deputies can see if it’s active or live of if it’s not and the safest way to dispose of this device", says Sheriff Margaret Mims.

However, if hobbyists use theirs, while police are conducting an investigation, it could be a problem.

Sheriff Mims says, "we always have to take a look at how it could hurt an investigation, if a drone tries to reveal something we’re no ready to, so that in addition to our air support unit really rises to the level of concern".

"A lot of people are nosey and they want to see what’s going on first hand before it hits the news and so I think it’s going to be a big issue further down the road ", says Goerlich.

Sheriff Mims says, "we use it to take away some of the threat, from keeping some of our deputies from having to approach a device".

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